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Comment period for FMCSA’s proposed reforms to carrier safety fitness ratings ends Monday, May 23

The Safety Fitness Determination rule would allow the agency to rely more heavily on roadside inspection data and violation data to determine carriers' safety fitness. Some carrier groups, however, argue the rule's issuance violates provisions of the 2015 FAST Act, which requires reforms to the CSA program.

The comment for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety Fitness Determination proposed rule comes to a close Monday, May 23.

Comments can be made by searching Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0001 at www.regulations.gov, or click here to access the comment page directly.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking outlined FMCSA’s plan to update its safety rating system for carriers by integrating on-road safety data from inspections, along with the results of carrier investigations and crash reports. All of this would determine a motor carrier’s overall safety fitness on a monthly updated basis.

The rule has drawn much ire from the trucking industry, particularly for its use of CSA Safety Measurement system ratings to determine a carrier’s safety fitness. There are also efforts under way in Congress to block the rulemaking, as Congress mandated last year that FMCSA no longer use the SMS rankings to judge carriers until certain reforms to the system had been implemented. Read more about the potential issues with the Safety Fitness Determination rule at this link:

FMCSA's proposed carrier rating reforms 'a sham,' rely too heavily on CSA scores, transpo attorney says

FMCSA’s proposed carrier rating reforms ‘a sham,’ rely too heavily on CSA scores, transpo attorney says

“All stakeholders should recognize this proposal is bad for competition and for carriers both small and large,” Seaton told attendees Tuesday, May 11, at ...

The SFD rule would replace the current three-tier federal rating system of “Satisfactory, Conditional and Unsatisfactory” for carriers with a single determination of “Unfit,” which would require the carrier to either improve its operations or shut down.

Under the proposed SFD rule, five of the seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) would be analyzed for potential failure. Failure in any two of five the BASICs – Hours of Service Compliance, Driver Fitness, Unsafe Driving, Vehicle Maintenance and Hazardous Materials ­– would result in an unfit rating.

See this page for CCJ’s full SFD coverage.

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Matt Cole is an Associate Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at mattcole@randallreilly.com.