Proposed Rule is a Big Win for Roadway Safety
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed a new and improved safety rating system last week.
The proposed rule would replace an outdated 34 year-old system of determining whether commercial vehicles are safe enough to be on the road.
The new big truck Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) replaces a three-tiered system of rating trucks to a simple “fit” or “unfit” designation, and thereby removes unsafe tractor-trailers from the road, rather than putting them in a conditional status.
This makes more sense, because a truck is either safe enough to be on the road or should cease operation until it is brought up to par.
The safety of commercial motor vehicles would be assessed monthly, using stricter standards. In addition, critical or acute problems would render a vehicle unsafe.
The SFD system would permit FMCSA to inspect an estimated 75,000 motor carriers each month to determine safety fitness.
This is a huge improvement over the current system, which only permits the FMCSA to investigate 15,000 per year!
The public comment period is open for 60 days. After considering these comments, the agency will issue a final rule.
Let’s hope the FMCSA approves these new guidelines.