The Federal Motor Carrier Administration unveiled a rulemaking proposal designed to update its safety fitness rating methodology.
It would integrate 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.
The Safety Fitness Determination Rule would replace the current three-tier federal rating system of Satisfactory, Conditional or Unsatisfactory with a single determination of Unfit. Carriers deemed Unfit would require either improving operations or shutting down.
The Agency believes the rule would extend its rating reach to about 75,000 companies a month, well above the 15,000 motor carriers it is able to investigate annually under the current system. The FMCSA estimates that fewer than 300 motor carriers each year would be deemed as Unfit solely as a result of on-road violations.
Carriers’ roadside inspections performance in those BASICs will be taken into consideration for safety rating purposes provided the carrier has had a minimum of 11 inspections with violations in the BASIC.
According to the proposal, the FMSCA will also draw traditional compliance review-type investigations for failure in each BASICs. Failure of a BASIC based on either crash data or compliance with drug and alcohol requirements would occurs only after a comprehensive follow up investigation.
The reason for the FMSCA to tie all road inspections into one is to determine your overall performance, which includes maintenance, driving hours, and to make certain all carriers are complying with the basic safety requirements. Everything from a minor roadside inspection to a compliance review and safety audit will determine if you are a compliant carrier or unfit.