FMCSA Toughens Bus Safety Requirement

Posted on February 1, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced a new rule to place stricter safety requirements on all newly registered trucking and bus companies.


This final rule raises the compliance standards for passing new entrant safety audits, while ensuring that safety deficiencies are corrected before a new motor carrier is granted permanent registration with the agency.


“These more stringent safety requirements are meant to help new carriers succeed at establishing and maintaining a comprehensive safety management program,” FMCSA Administrator John Hill said. “Imposing these tougher standards will ensure that new entrants are fully aware and compliant with federal safety regulations, aiding in the continued reduction of highway crashes and fatalities on our nation’s highways.”


The final rule issued by the FMCSA establishes that a newly registered trucking or bus company will automatically fail its safety audit if it violates any one of 16 essential federal regulations during the 18-month safety monitoring period.


These essential regulations cover controlled substances and alcohol testing, hours of service, driver qualifications, vehicle condition, and carrier financial responsibility.


If a company fails its new entrant safety audit, it may result in revocation of a carrier’s registration with the agency, unless the carrier takes necessary corrective action within a specified time period established by FMCSA.


The rule also would require that if during the 18-month safety monitoring period certain violations are discovered during roadside inspections, the new entrant may be subjected to a new entrant expedited safety audit, or in the case of serious safety violations, a more comprehensive compliance review, which can result in fines and penalties.


The carrier also may be required to submit a written corrective action plan explaining in detail how the carrier will achieve compliance with the safety rules and improve its safety performance.


The final rule on the New Entrant Safety Assurance Process is available for review on the FMCSA website in “Rules and Regulations.”

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