U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Contact: Kristin Schrader
Tel.: (202) 366-9999 or (202) 366-2309
FMCSA Toughens Safety Requirements for New Commercial Truck and Bus Companies
WASHINGTON—The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today 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," said FMCSA Administrator John H. Hill. "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 nations 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 carriers registration with the agency, unless the carrier takes necessary corrective action within a specified time period established by FMCSA.
The rule would also 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 may also 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 Web site in Rules and Regulations.
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