As a result of the allegations against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety Measurement System, the federal administration has decided to better review their safety rating system. Last week, small business owners testified at a congressional hearing listing their complaints and grievances with the FMCSA’s safety-rating program that was seen to be “out of touch with reality.” The small business owners that testified felt that the rating-system is especially critical with a few key factors that do not necessarily characterize a truck driver as unsafe or a risk on the road. And after mounting criticism, the FMCSA decided it may be best to take another look at the system and rid it of all possible errors so that its purpose can fittingly be served to the trucking community.
The FMCSA announced this morning that they would like all truck drivers to log into the Safety Measurement System and see where they stand based on the refined methodology. This new preview of the safety-rating system now allows for truck owner/operators to take the following actions: Improve safety compliance by diagnosing issues and taking action to correct organizational problems, train drivers, or take other appropriate measures to improve safety. Request corrections to any inaccurate data; in particular, motor carriers should focus on ensuring that information related to placardable Hazardous Materials inspections is correct. Provide feedback to FMCSA about refinements they think should be made before the changes are implemented. The FMCSA will then review and make the necessary changes to the system based on the comments and feedback that they are able to receive from truck owner/operators. The comment period has been extended up until July 30th, so the agency encourages all drivers to get involved as quickly as possible in order for a operational system to be up and running in no time.
This news should definitely soothe the pains of the trucking community. The FMCSA’s safety-rating system has caused more than heartache to some truck owner/operators because their businesses have been at jeopardy. This announcement proves that the trucking community’s complaints are heard and are responsible for change. The most discouraging detail about the FMCSA’s failure is that the tax dollars of hard-working truckers have been funneled into programs like the Safety Measurement System. This gives the impression that truckers are paying for faulty and business-damaging programs when they fill out their truck tax Form 2290 for 2012, which is clearly unacceptable. The trucking community should be happy to see that this federal agency is working hard to fix this problem and ensure tax payments are going to worthwhile projects.