Will Changes to Trucking Regulations Save Lives?
Within the Department of Transportation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees the safety of commercial motor vehicles. The FCMSA is charged with making motor carriers and drivers safe.
One way the FMCSA regulates and enforces safety standards in the industry is through the Safety Measurement System (SMS). Recent changes made to the SMS may help ensure further safety for America’s commercial motor carriers.
What is the SMS?
Through data collected from crash statistics and inspections, the FMCSA targets specific trucking companies it deems most in need of intervention. Using available information from safety inspections and crash data, the SMS keeps an eye on certain companies, evaluating whether the company is coming into compliance with safety standards. The SMS is designed to take note of what causes truck crashes. and help identify the industry's worst offenders.
The FMCSA took the issue of safety to the public, asking stakeholders and others for suggestions on the changes that needed to be made in order to make commercial vehicles safer. Members of the industry, law enforcement and others reviewed the 11 changes adding comments and input over a period of four months. The changes to the existing SMS policy include the information provided to the SMS. Including:
- Load securing and cargo violations in vehicle maintenance
- Log sheet violations would carry the same weight, whether the violations were on paper log sheets or electronic logs
- Aligning speeding violations to reflect the current requirement that speedometers be accurate within 5 MPH
- In addition, measures to better report hazardous materials compliance violations
The changes made will further the mission of the SMS, allowing more careful monitoring of commercial carriers who violate safety standards. The main purpose of the SMS is to allow for the FMCSA to keep an eye on the worse offenders in the industry, and take action when the company continues to put the public at large in danger through noncompliance of safety laws and regulations.
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