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DOT/FMCSA RIN: 2126-AB11 Publication ID: Fall 2013 
Title: +Carrier Safety Fitness Determination  
Abstract: FMCSA proposes to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to adopt revised methodologies that would result in a safety fitness determination (SFD). The proposed methodologies would determine when a motor carrier is not fit to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in or affecting interstate commerce based on (1) the carrier?s performance in relation to five of the Agency?s Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs); (2) an investigation; or (3) a combination of on-road safety data and investigation information. The intended effect of this action is to reduce crashes caused by CMV drivers and motor carriers, resulting in death, injuries, and property damage on U.S. highways, by more effectively using FMCSA data and resources to identify unfit motor carriers and to remove them from the Nation?s roadways. 
Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 49 CFR 385   
Legal Authority: sec 4009 of TEA-21   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: Because of the time and expense associated with the onsite compliance review, only a small fraction of carriers (approximately 12,000) receive a safety fitness determination each year. Since the current safety fitness determination process is based exclusively on the results of an onsite compliance review, the great majority of carriers subject to FMCSA jurisdiction do not receive a timely determination of their safety fitness. The proposed methodology for determining motor carrier safety fitness should correct the deficiencies of the current process. In correcting these deficiencies, FMCSA has made a concerted effort to develop a "transparent" method for the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) that would allow each motor carrier to understand fully how FMCSA established that carrier's specific SFD.

Summary of the Legal Basis: This rule is based primarily on the authority of 49 U.S.C. 31144, which directs the Secretary of Transportation to "determine whether an owner or operator is fit to operate a commercial motor vehicle" and to "maintain by regulation a procedure for determining the safety fitness of an owner or operator." This statute was first enacted as part of the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984, section 215, Public Law 98-554, 98 Stat. 2844 (Oct. 30, 1984). The proposed rule also relies on the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 31133, which gives the Secretary "broad administrative powers to assist in the implementation" of the provisions of the Motor Carrier Safety Act now found in chapter 311 of title 49, U.S.C. These powers include, among others, authority to conduct inspections and investigations, compile statistics, require production of records and property, prescribe recordkeeping and reporting requirements, and to perform other acts considered appropriate. These powers are used to obtain the data used by the Safety Management System and by the proposed new methodology for safety fitness determinations. Under 49 CFR 1.73(g), the Secretary has delegated the authority to carry out the functions in subchapters I, III, and IV of chapter 311, title 49, U.S.C., to the FMCSA Administrator. Sections 31133 and 31144 are part of subchapter III of chapter 311.

Alternatives: The Agency has been considering several alternatives.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: The Agency is continuing to review the estimated costs and benefits of the proposed rule.

Risks: A risk of incorrectly identifying a compliant carrier as non-compliant?and consequently subjecting the carrier to unnecessary expenses?has been analyzed and has been found to be negligible under the process being proposed.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  05/00/2014 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
David Miller
Regulatory Development Division
Department of Transportation
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE,
Washington, DC 20590
Phone:202 366-5370

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