WASHINGTON — Officials at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) say they want to be more effective at getting miscreant motor carriers off of America’s highways.
“FMCSA is seeking information on how the agency might use data and resources more effectively to identify unfit motor carriers and to remove them from the nation’s roadways,” according to a statement published in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s latest Significant Rulemaking Report. “FMCSA would seek public comment about the use of available safety data, including inspection data, in determining carrier fitness to operate.”
The FMCSA said it plans to publish an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on the issue in January, and a notice on safety fitness procedures is expected on Jan. 30, 2023. The public will have a chance to make comments once the rulemaking draft is published on the Federal Register.
FMCSA officials also want public input on possible changes to the current three-tier safety fitness rating structure of satisfactory, conditional and unsatisfactory.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that FMCSA uses in its safety fitness rating methodology are also expected to receive a thorough review.
The FMCSA may place an interstate commercial motor carrier out of service for the following reasons:
Whenever it is determined that a violation of 49 USC 31502 or the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984, as amended, or the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, as amended, or a regulation issued under such section or Acts, or a combination of such violations, poses an imminent hazard to safety.
Failure to pay civil penalty
Whenever a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) owner or operator fails to pay a civil penalty in full within 90 days of the date specified for payment by the FMCSA final agency order.
Unsatisfactory rated motor carriers
Generally, a motor carrier rated ‘unsatisfactory’ is prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
Since December 2021, the FMCSA has declared eight carriers to be imminent hazards to public safety.
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