Knocking out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposed plan to tie safety fitness determination to data derived from its already-flawed safety measurement system has been a tough battle. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association announced Wednesday that it has learned the FMCSA is withdrawing the controversial rulemaking.
“Withdrawing the SFD NPRM is a practical, commonsense decision as the industry awaits the findings of the National Academy of Sciences review,” said OOIDA Manager of Federal Affairs Jay Grimes. “I think it’s a promising sign that this administration is committed to regulatory reform.”
The Association has long protested the serious shortcomings in the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability – or CSA – program. The SFD rule based on disputed data and methodologies was issued in January 2016 and was promptly met with heavy criticism from OOIDA.
The inspection docket states that the withdrawal will be published Thursday, March 23, in the Federal Register. The publication also states that the plans for a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) are canceled, too.
It’s notable that on Feb. 15, 2017, a letter from OOIDA and more than 60 national and regional organizations of motor carriers urged Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao to withdraw the NPRM.
According to the inspection desk’s pre-publication report, the notice in Thursday’s Federal Register acknowledges that letter and states that “based on comments received in response to the NPRM and the February 2017 correspondence to Secretary Chao, FMCSA has decided to withdraw the January 2016 NPRM.”
If FMCSA determines that changes to the safety fitness determination process are still necessary and advisable in the future, a new rulemaking would be initiated.
Managing Editor Jami Jones contributed to this article.
FMCSA lays out plan for driver safety measurement system