Carrier safety fitness determination proposal on the move

By Jami Jones, Land Line managing editor | Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A proposal to tie a motor carrier’s safety fitness to the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Program has been submitted to the Office of the Secretary of Transportation for approval.

Currently, motor carriers only receive a safety fitness rating of satisfactory, conditional or unsatisfactory within 30 days following a compliance review. Motor carriers who have not been through a compliance review are unrated under the current system. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing to change the way the agency does that in a notice of proposed rulemaking submitted to the DOT on March 2.

The agency wants to adopt revised methods that would determine if the motor carrier is not fit to operate in interstate commerce and subsequently assign the motor carrier a “safety fitness determination.”

To arrive at the determination whether a motor carrier is fit to operate, the agency is proposing to review motor carrier performance in CSA BASICs, an investigation or a combination of on-road safety data and investigation information.

The BASICs – short for behavioral analysis and safety categories – rank a motor carrier’s compliance against peer groups. The peer groups are based on the number of inspections or motor carrier size depending on the BASIC. Based on those comparisons, the agency assigns a compliance ranking relative to the others. Motor carriers who are ranked above pre-determined thresholds in the BASICs face intervention from the agency. Those rankings are calculated about every month.

Further details of the agency’s notice of proposed rulemaking have not yet been made public.

The agency’s plan is to submit the NPRM to the White House Office of Management and Budget on April 6 once it is approved by the DOT. It’s projected to publish the proposal in the Federal Register mid-July.

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