US truck regulator has dodgy operators in its sights

Transport department wants changes made to make it easier to target non-compliant operators.

US truck regulator has dodgy operators in its sights
The FMCSA wants to significantly increase the number of trucking firms in the US subjected to safety inspections.


The US’ truck regulator is pushing for expanded powers to identify dodgy trucking firms and remove them from the country’s roads.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has put forward a proposal  to update the system used to rate trucking companies, known as Safety Fitness Determination (SFD).

It has recommended replacing the current three-tier rating system that labels a company ‘satisfactory’, ‘conditional’ or ’unsatisfactory’ following an assessment.

Instead, the FMCSA says a single determination of ‘unfit’ will require a company to improve or cease operations.

"Carriers that we identify as unfit to operate will be removed from our roadways until they improve," FMCSA acting administrator Scott Darling says.

The department also wants to use on-road safety data from inspections, the results of company investigations and crash reports to determine a firm’s overall safety level on a monthly basis.

It believes the proposed changes, once in place, will permit it to assess about 75,000 companies a month. It says it is currently able to investigate only 15,000 companies annually.

"Ensuring that motor carriers are operating safely on our nation’s roadways is one of our highest priorities," US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx says.

"Using all available information to achieve more timely assessments will allow us to better identify unsafe companies and get them off the road."

The FMCSA estimates its proposals will lead to less than 300 trucking companies being labelled ‘unfit’ annually.

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