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FMCSA Targets Unsafe Carriers in Surprise Enforcement Event
Foley
5 mins read
The FMCSA has been taking additional steps to keep unsafe carriers off the roads by conducting unannounced inspections on motor carriers throughout the United States that have a history of crashes and unsafe driving practices.

These surprise inspections have been held through both on-site and remote investigations.

Of the carriers that were inspected during this initial seven-week blitz, 1/3 were given a safety rating downgrade of either Conditional or Unsatisfactory.

34% of driver violations can be prevented with Foley's MVR Monitoring

Why This Matters

Although data released on this new enforcement event has been limited, it does suggest that even motor carriers with a Satisfactory rating could be at risk of a surprise investigation if they have drivers who’ve recently racked up speeding tickets or have displayed other unsafe driving behaviors.

And while we’ve been talking about the rise in remote audits over the past year, and how carriers are given less time to prepare than they would for an on-site audit, it’s important to stress that carriers still had some time to get their ducks in a row before the auditors call. That doesn’t seem to be the case with this new audit blitz, however. Similar to the on-the-spot inspections that occur during International Roadcheck or Brake Safety Week, carriers are being asked to provide proof of their compliance immediately – and in the case of remote audits, all of this documentation must be sent to the investigator digitally.

With 30 percent of carriers receiving a safety rating downgrade after one of these new audits, it’s clear that the lack of preparation time is tripping up some carriers.

As a federally regulated motor carrier, you should be well aware that a Conditional or Unsatisfactory designation can jeopardize your business. Recovering especially from an Unsatisfactory rating can be a long, difficult, costly process. Worse, it could result in closure. In fact, carriers who receive an Unsatisfactory rating only have 60 days to convince the DOT to continue operating or they will be placed out of service.

The Importance of MVR Monitoring

Clearly, it is much easier for a business to maintain a Satisfactory rating than to recover from the damage of a poor rating. To avoid slipping into a lower safety rating category, it is essential to always comply with FMCSA and DOT compliance; to regularly maintain, inspect, and update equipment; and to keep accurate and up-to-date records.

But these new, announced inspections highlight something else that is becoming increasingly critical: to pay close attention to your drivers’ behavior on the road. An MVR Monitoring program can play an important part in this process by alerting you immediately when a driver receives a speeding ticket, is arrested on a DUI charge or is in a motor vehicle accident. This ensures you always have the most up-to-date view of your drivers’ safety and can spot unsafe patterns quickly before it draws the attention of the FMCSA and creates a bigger headache for your company.

An MVR Monitoring program has the benefit of alerting you to positive changes as well – such as when a driver has updated their CDL or medical certificate.

Case Study: How One Company Tripled Their Fleet and Improved Their Hiring & Compliance Processes

Foley’s MVR Monitoring solution provides you with a dedicated online portal that can be accessed anywhere via phone, tablet, or computer. This means that, as soon as you receive a notification, you can take immediate action. What’s more, MVR monitoring fulfills your annual MVR requirement by running new reports annually for each driver’s file and performing annual violation reviews.

Simply put, by keeping close tabs on drivers, you’ll be able to operate a safer fleet and maintain a strong safety rating—the ultimate secrets to a carrier’s success.

 
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