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October 2023 FMCSA Significant Rulemaking Report
Mariah Barr
3 mins read

How the FMCSA safety ratings of trucking companies are determined may soon change.

The FMCSA has extended the comment period for its ANPR to revise the regulations governing the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) process. The new deadline for comments is November 29, 2023.

The SFD requires companies regulated by the FMCSA to have effective safety management controls in place to ensure compliance with safety standards.

These standards cover various areas, including violations of commercial driver's license standards, inadequate financial responsibility, use of unqualified drivers, improper vehicle use and operation, unsafe vehicles on highways, failure to maintain accident records, fatigued driving, inadequate vehicle inspection and maintenance, violations related to hazardous materials transportation, and motor vehicle accidents and hazardous materials incidents.

When determining safety fitness and assigning a safety rating, factors such as safety reviews, compliance reviews, and other relevant data are considered. These factors may include the adequacy of safety management controls, frequency and severity of regulatory violations, frequency and severity of driver/vehicle violations identified during roadside inspections, number and frequency of out-of-service violations, changes in similar types of violations discovered during safety or compliance reviews, frequency of accidents and hazardous materials incidents, accident rate per million miles, indicators of preventable accidents, and the number and severity of violations of CMV and motor carrier safety rules.

The SFD regulations have been in place since 1988 and have been updated by the FMCSA regularly. The FMCSA is seeking input on new methodologies to determine when a motor carrier is unfit to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. The goal is to utilize FMCSA data and resources more effectively to identify and remove unfit companies from our nation's shared roadways.

Click here to submit your comments on this proposed rulemaking. 

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Maintaining a Satisfactory safety rating is crucial to avoiding DOT audits, retaining valued relationships with brokers and customers, and operating a successful business. 

If you need more information on safety ratings, check out this Foley article.

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