Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Trojan Horse

A further examination of the NPRM for the agency’s Safety Fitness Determination suggests the surprise rulemaking may be a Trojan horse.  The idea that rehashed SMS methodology will be used to find approximately 300 carriers per year unfit based on roadside inspections appears to be a concession to the critics of SMS methodology, only penalizing the “worst of the worst.” Similarly, the agency’s rulemaking says that it has heard from SMS critics and in unexplained ways addressed concerns about peer group anomalies enforcement inconsistencies.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Warmed over SMS

For over a decade, the FMCSA has tried to develop a system to rate carriers based on roadside performance alone – depriving carriers of an audit and due process.

SafeStat, which had percentile rankings in 3 safety event groups or BASICs, was a bust.  So the agency created 7 BASICs, arbitrarily constructed peer groups, and started feeding the system with highly granulated, non out-of-service violations to increase the data count.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

FMCSA proposes new safety rating system

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Jan. 21 will officially publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would change how the agency decides which motor carriers are unsafe. Comments on the carrier safety fitness determination (SFD) NPRM will be due March 21, and there will be another 30 days for rebuttal comments.

Although the new highway law known as the FAST Act generally requires FMCSA to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) before proposing a major rule, the agency granted itself a waiver as allowed by the law, saying that an ANPRM is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. A coalition of trade associations representing primarily small trucking operations had argued that FMCSA could not issue the NPRM due to the ANPRM requirement and other FAST Act provisions. The agency did not address the group's other claims in the NPRM it will publish Jan. 21.

What follows is a brief summary of the changes FMCSA is proposing.
Read More » "FMCSA proposes new safety rating system"   - TransComply

Thursday, August 13, 2015


August 12, 2015

Highway Bill Related Legislation Involving SMS Methodology

Before the Senate skipped town for a month, a Bill was introduced as a compromise in an effort by the Senate to pass a highway funding bill (S. 1732). With little attention or advance notice, the Senate compromise perverted the intent of both the TIA supported House Bill 1120 (Duncan) and House Bill 5532 (Barletta) which is supported by OOIDA, NASTC and ATA.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

SMS Update

SMS Update
            1.         Legislative Initiatives.  There are 3 Bills pending in Congress:

                        (1)        H.R. 1120 – "To Enhance Interstate Commerce by Creating a National Hiring Standard for Motor Carriers."  Introduced by John Duncan (R-TN) on 2/26/15.  This Bill, supported by TIA, would establish a new hiring standard of "licensed, authorized and insured" and is designed to protect shippers, brokers and intermediaries against negligent selection lawsuits.

                        (2)        H.R. 5532 – Reintroduced as H.R. 1371 – "Safer Trucks and Buses Act of 2015." Introduced by Lou Barletta (R-PA) on March 16, 2015.  Supported by NASTC, OOIDA and ATA, this Bill would require removal of SMS methodology from the website pending further study of its efficacy and a report back to Congress.