FMCSA has recently proposed a major change that will identify unsafe commercial
vehicle fleets. The rule will undergo significant scrutiny in the next month
and the public is invited to comment on the proposal. In the wake of
stepped up enforcement by the FMCSA, it is important for all commercial fleet
operators to understand the ramifications of these changes.
Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), to be published
in the Federal Register, would update FMCSA’s safety fitness rating methodology
by integrating on-road safety data from inspections, along with the results of
carrier investigations and crash reports, to determine a motor carrier’s
overall safety fitness on a monthly basis.
proposed SFD rule would replace the current three-tier federal rating system
with a single determination of “unfit.” This means the carrier either improves or
finalized, the SFD rule will permit FMCSA to assess the safety fitness of
approximately 75,000 companies a month. By comparison, the agency is only able
to investigate 15,000 motor carriers annually – with less than half of those
companies receiving a safety rating.
proposed methodology would determine when a carrier is not fit to operate
commercial motor vehicles in or affecting interstate commerce based on:
- Carrier's performance in relation to a fixed failure threshold established in the rule for five of the agency's Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs)
- Investigation rules
- A combination of on-road safety data and investigation information.
proposed rule further incorporates rigorous data sufficiency standards and
would require that a significant pattern of non-compliance be documented in
order for a carrier to fail a BASIC.
estimates that under this proposal, less than 300 motor carriers each year
would be proposed as “unfit” solely as a result of on-road safety violations.
Further, the agency’s analysis has shown that the carriers identified through
this on-road safety data have crash rates of almost four times the national
encourages the public to review the NPRM and to submit comments and evidentiary
materials to the docket following its publication in the Federal Register. The
public comment period will be open for 60 days. FMCSA will also provide a reply
comment period allowing for an additional 30 days for commenters to respond to
the initial comments.
more information on FMCSA’s Safety Fitness Determination proposed rule,
including a full copy of the NPRM, an instructional webinar, and a Safety
Fitness Determination Calculator, visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sfd.
comment on the rule once it is published in the Federal Register, please use www.regulations.gov and docket number FMCSA-2015-0001.
- Initial comments will be due March 31, 2016. Response comments
will be accepted for an additional 30 days.
Talk to a HUB
Transportation advisor to walk through the details of how
this new ruling could affect your fleet and commercial truck insurance.
Steven Bojan, Vice President- HUB International's Fleet Risk
Services for commercial truck insurance, advises on fleet safety, driver and
management best practices and regulatory compliance.