Safety Fitness Determination rules will be revealed at the end of January
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be proposing a new set of rules for truck safety in a few days. The change in rules is happening because current rules are too vague and do not allow for enough testing. There are 75,000 companies registered with the FMCSA, but they are only able to assess around 15,000 vehicles per year. This means that there are thousands of companies which are registered with the FMCSA but have never been assessed, and thus may be unsafe. The new proposed Safety Fitness Determination rules will allow the FMCSA to properly investigate all companies and ensure all their vehicles are road safe.
The current rules which are in place were created in 1982. They do not reflect the potential of all the data and technology we have developed since. Another thing that was confusing in the old rules was the ‘conditional’ status of vehicles, which resulted in companies with a ‘conditional’ status operating their vehicles for years without changing anything. Under the new SFD rules, this would not happen. This is because the new rules will completely do away with the conditional status. There will only be two ratings, fit or unfit. If it is marked unfit then it cannot be taken on to the road, as simple as that.
The rating of unfit will be given on the basis of both inspections and investigation results. The failure measures are also fixed, so carriers will know exactly what standards they need to meet in order to be deemed fit for the road. Carriers will also be assessed monthly, though how the FMCSA will assess so many companies every month remains to be seen. The proposed rule changes affect only those companies which have had 11 or more inspections with violations in two BASICs, or the companies which had undergone an investigation and had cited violations in it within the last month. Otherwise, companies will be unaffected.
It remains to be seen whether this will be good for truckers or make things harder. Once the proposed rules are posted by the FMCSA online, there will be a one-month period for the public to make comments so they can be taken into consideration. Until the complete details are released, it is going to be impossible to predict how the trucking industry will be affected.
Good trucking companies should not be too worried since the criteria is very lax for being marked unfit, as most companies already ensure they do not have so many violations. Trucking involves a lot of safety issues and no one knows the dangers of faulty trucks like truckers do, so the industry does not have a lot of safety issues. The FMCSA has also released a calculator online which allows companies to see how they will be affected by the new SFD. Simply open the calculator, answer the questions, and you will know whether your company will be affected by it or not. – See more at: http://truckernews.com/safety-fitness-determination-rules-will-be-revealed-at-the-end-of-january-p650-90.htm#sthash.pF61BxZB.dpuf