FMCSA withdraws proposed safety fitness determination rule

Excerpt from Transport Topics article:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has withdrawn its proposed motor carrier safety fitness determination rule as it awaits a major study of the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program by the National Academies of Science, according to the agency’s March 22 announcement.

FMCSA previously announced that, rather than move to a final rule, a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking would be the next step in the rulemaking process.

“However, after reviewing the record in this matter, FMCSA withdraws the NPRM and cancels the plans to develop a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” the agency wrote in a prepublication Federal Register posting. “The agency must receive the correlation study from the National Academies of Science, as required by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, assess whether and, if so, what corrective actions are advisable, and complete additional analysis before determining whether further rulemaking action is necessary to revise the safety fitness determination process.”

Proposed in January 2016, the rule’s new methodology would have determined when a motor carrier is not fit to operate commercial motor vehicles based on the carrier’s on-road safety data; an investigation; or a combination of on-road safety data and investigation information.

“[American Trucking Associations] has long supported using data to target enforcement activities against bad actors in our industry,” said ATA President Chris Spear. “However, numerous reviews have shown flaws in the data and in the CSA system, so it makes sense to withdraw this rule which would have used CSA data to create publicly available fitness ratings.”

The withdrawal decision follows a request made by several dozen truck and bus trade organizations to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to rescind and delay the proposal.

Read more online at Transport Topics.