FMCSA budget calls for more roadside enforcement, inspections

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration plans more roadside enforcement and inspections than before, according to testimony delivered in its budget request. For fiscal year 2008, the FMCSA requests $528 million, of which $228 million is for motor carrier safety operations and programs and $300 million is for motor carrier safety grants. Ninety-three percent of the budget, or $489 million, focuses on reducing truck and bus crashes.

Administrator John H. Hill, who spoke March 29 before the transportation subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, said the goals are to:

  • Conduct more roadside enforcement and inspections, in cooperation with states and localities;
  • Prioritize the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program for buses and focus enforcement on curbside buses;
  • Test the Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 program, designed as a new approach to safety fitness ratings; and
  • Increase efficiency within the agency.
  • The largest of the grant program requests is $202 million for Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program grants, which will allow states to conduct two million roadside driver and vehicle inspections and more than 5,000 compliance reviews, Hill said; this includes $29 million toward 28,500 state-conducted new entrant audits. Also, Washington’s Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks pilot program will be expanded to states with the highest fatality and crash rates, Hill said.

    Hill’s budget request for fiscal year 2008 is nearly twice the amount of the agency’s $272 million budget in fiscal 2001, an indication of the mounting annual cost of government.