Citing a Congressional mandate to do so, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing that carriers could voluntarily add technology to their trucks to better their compliance rankings, which according to OOIDA is effectively buying their way out of a bad safety score.
Under the proposal, carriers that put advanced safety equipment on their trucks or beef up their safety program would receive “credits” that could be used to reduce or erase a bad score that resulted from crashes or other safety problems.
Truckers will have a chance to let FMCSA officials know in person what they think about the idea. The agency will be holding a listening session at the Mid-American Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky. The session will take place Friday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to noon and 1:15 p.m. to 3 p.m. eastern time.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association opposes the idea. The Association contends that the proposal amounts to a “pay to play” scheme benefiting only the largest motor carriers.
The agency is seeking input on three specific questions. They are:
- What voluntary technologies or safety program best practices would be appropriate for beyond compliance;
- What type of incentives would encourage motor carriers to invest in technologies and best practices programs; and
- How FMCSA would verify that the voluntary technologies or safety programs are being implemented.
The Association has more information on the Beyond Compliance initiative at FightingForTruckers.com. There is also a tip sheet for submitting effective comments.
If you can’t make it to the MATS listening session, you can participate online via a webcast. Online participants will be able to submit comments that will be read aloud to the FMCSA officials and those participants in attendance at the listening session at the truck show. More information about the webcast will be posted online at fmcsa.dot.gov/calendar.
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