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Is The Safety Fitness Proposition In Violation Of FAST Act?

Is The Safety Fitness Proposition In Violation Of FAST Act?

The coalition of eight associations, which represents the trucking industry’s interest, has challenged the latest proposal put forward by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The new regulation proposed by the agency would enhance the usage of the data obtained from inspection to evaluate the safety fitness determinations for the motor carriers. This has caused the fleet companies and trucking enterprises to join together to contend that it is neither fair nor productive.

The stakeholders, including the National Association of Small Trucking Companies and the Western States Trucking Association, challenge the validity of this proposal and they explain their point of view in an statement by saying, “FMCSA plans to ignore the clear mandates of the FAST Act the recently passed highway bill when it opens a rulemaking this month that would change existing standards for determining the safety fitness of individual motor carriers.”

They have submitted a detailed letter consisting of four pages, enriched with data information. The letter explains the issues regarding the new modification in the FAST Act. The letter was sent to lawmakers who championed and supported the FMCSA reform changes within the Act. Scott Darling III, the FMCSA Chief Counsel T.F., was also sent a copy of the same letter to keep him in the loop about the ongoing process. In the past few months, FMCSA has been hard at work to improve the Carrier Safety Fitness Determination that has been a matter of conflict since the last decade. However, it is important to note that several details regarding the new plan have not yet been made public.

According to agency’s representatives, they strive to improve they whole process of motor carrier safety determination by adopting revised methodologies. They will be able to analyze that if the vehicle is fit to operate on the road or not, by finding out the carrier’s performance in relation to 5/7 Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) that are tracked by CSA program, put in place by the agency. If the rule is implemented, the agency will also be able to investigate any incident, and will be able to compile on-safety road data and the investigation information.

According to them, the SFD Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be finalized and then published by the last week of January, and include the current on-road safety performance report. In their statement, they stated, “It is apparent that the proposed [SFD] rule would incorporate the same ‘on-road safety performance data’ that FMCSA has used in calculating BASICs under SMS and CSA. We believe that if FMCSA goes ahead with its proposed ‘quickie’ rulemaking on use of SMS/CSA data, such action would disregard at least three provisions of the FAST Act.”

They further stated, “By copy of this letter to Administrator Darling, we are expressing our concerns that any Notice of Proposed Rulemaking involving a safety fitness determination at this time in light of the strictures imposed by the FAST Act is highly inappropriate and will be challenged.” Moreover, last year in December, a statement was issued by the administration of FMCSA, in which they clearly sated that the Safety Fitness Determination rulemaking will be delayed, due to the lack of coordination and participation, as well as unanticipated problems that require further investigation. – See more at:

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