The U.S. Transportation Department's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has implemented 11 improvements to its Safety Measurement System (SMS) to enhance its ability to identify and take action against truckers with safety and compliance concerns.
The changes were developed over several months with feedback from the public and industry stakeholders, the agency said.
SMS uses all available inspection and crash data to prioritize carriers for interventions. It quantifies on-road safety performance of carriers to identify the specific safety problems the carrier presents and to monitor whether performance is improving or worsening.
The system also helps FMCSA more efficiently apply its resources and bring carriers and drivers into compliance with federal safety regulations “to prevent crashes and save lives,” the agency said.
In specific, SMS improvements will give FMCSA more precise information to assess a company’s on-the-road safety performance, including:
- Changing the Cargo-Related BASIC (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category) to the Hazardous Materials Compliance BASIC to better identify hazmat-related safety and compliance problems. Truckers and law enforcement can view this new BASIC in December; however FMCSA will conduct further monitoring before the BASIC is made public.
- Strengthening the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC by including cargo and load securement violations that were previously in the Cargo-Related BASIC.
- Counting intermodal equipment violations found during drivers’ pre-trip inspections.
- Aligning speeding violations to be consistent with current speedometer regulations that require speedometers to be accurate within 5 mph. The change applies to the prior 24 months of data used by the SMS and all SMS data moving forward.
- Changing the name of the Fatigued Driving BASIC to the Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance BASIC to more accurately reflect violations contained within the BASIC.
- Aligning the severity weight of paper and electronic logbook violations equally on SMS for consistency purposes.
FMCSA provided a four-month preview period to give the public and industry opportunity to review and comment on the proposed changes to SMS. Overall, more than 19,000 companies and 2,900 law enforcement personnel participated in the public preview, the agency said.
“These SMS enhancements reflect FMCSA’s commitment to listening to our stakeholders and researching and analyzing enhancements in the name of safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro, in a statement on Monday. “By strengthening our cornerstone enforcement program, we are continuing to raise the bar for truck and bus safety.”
Trucking companies are encouraged by FMCSA to check their safety data
to see how the SMS changes may have affected their SMS results. Also, for complete details on the new SMS improvements, visit the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Website