FMCSA to hear input March 28, April 7 on new entrant rule

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Following its January-held listening session in Nashville, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this week announced the times and dates for its next two public listening session being held as part of the creation of the New Entrant testing rule mandated by the MAP-21 highway funding act from 2012.

The agency is seeking input from the trucking industry, other stakeholders and the public at large for the rule. MAP-21 says the agency must implement a written exam to test carrier applicants for safety regulations, standards and orders of the Federal government,” according to an entry in the Federal Register. Click here to see coverage of the January listening session.

The March 28 session will be held at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Room 103C at 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m..

The April 7 session will be held in Los Angeles, Calif., at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites (404 South Figueroa Street) in the Beaudry Room from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The agency says it is seeking input on the following questions:

  • Should the exam be limited to the applicable FMCSA regulations or include both the regulations and industry best practices?
  • If the exam covers industry best practices, what specific best practices should be included on the exam?
  • What industry best practices manuals/publications are available for new entrants to study prior to taking a proficiency exam?
  • Are private-sector training courses available to teach new entrants industry best practices?
  • Should FMCSA limit the exam to company officers or employees responsible for safety and compliance, or should the agency allow safety consultants to complete the exam on behalf of the new entrant?
  • Should the test results be linked to specific individuals identified on the registration application with a requirement that the new entrant entity have a “certified” individual who passed the exam in a position responsible for safety and compliance? And should the new entrant be required to update their registration information whenever these individuals are replaced/reassigned during the new entrant monitoring/oversight period?
  • MAP-21 requires freight forwarders and brokers to renew their registration authority every 5 years. Should the new entrant testing rule require a new test (i.e., recertification test) to accompany the freight forwarder or broker renewal application?
  • Should the FMCSA develop and deliver the test directly to the new entrant applicants, or should the Agency rely on a private sector entity to handle the testing, with the results being transmitted directly to FMCSA?
  • Do private sector companies or organizations currently conduct testing concerning industry best practices?
  • Should the testing be conducted at testing centers, or should FMCSA allow on-line testing?

Both sessions will also be broadcast live via a webcast. The agency will post a link to the broadcast on its website, fmcsa.dot.gov.

The agency also is accepting written feedback prior to the sessions. Visit regulations.gov and use Docket ID FMCSa-2001-11061 to submit comment.

Comment can also be mailed to Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, D.C., 20590. Comments can also be hand delivered to the same address.

Comments can also be faxed to 202-493-2251.