The Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration has proposed changes to an assessment system for how it identifies higher-risk fleets.
The FMCSA is looking to modernize, streamline and add criteria to its Safety Measurement System that’s been in place since 2010.
The Federal Register notice, published Wednesday, kicks off a 90-day comment period.
Among the changes as listed in a 2022 foundational document, the proposal would:
- Add 14 new violations relating to unsafe driving
- Replace a 1–10 severity scale (“criticized as overly subjective,” according to a Federal Register notice) with a two-number scale
- Change the threshold for when interventions are triggered to deemphasize certain issues such as driver fitness.
The agency also proposed tightening the focus on carrier violations from two years to one. That would mean 1,081 carriers would no longer fall under the spotlight, according to the notice.
Rankings for companies help the agency prioritize interventions, which can include warning letters, roadside inspections and investigations. Penalties can even include ceasing a carrier’s operations.
The FMCSA said the changes would help target issues and lower crash rates, flagging more risks during a two-year period from October 2018 to September 2020. As part of its assessment, the agency said its current standards flagged 50,002 carriers during a snapshot period, whereas proposed standards would have raised that to 51,311.
Dan Horvath, the American Trucking Associations’ vice president of safety policy, said in a statement that the organization is reviewing the proposed changes but supports efforts to refine the program “so it can be a more effective tool for prioritizing carriers for intervention.”
Informational sessions on the proposed changes will take place on March 7, 14 and 15, and a website also provides information on the effort. The website allows companies to preview how the proposed changes would appear, and other visitors can view sample pages.