ANNE S. FERRO
FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
SUBCOMMITTEE ON SURFACE TRANSPORTATION AND MERCHANT MARINE
INFRASTRUCTURE, SAFETY, AND SECURITY
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Programs
APRIL 28, 2010
Chairman Lautenberg, Ranking Member Thune, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to appear before you today to give an overview of the priorities and programs of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the successes we have had in enhancing safety on our Nation’s highways, and our continuing challenges as we strive to significantly reduce severe and fatal crashes involving commercial motor vehicles.
During my confirmation hearing to be Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator last September, Chairman Lautenberg pointed out that "[e]very year for the past decade, nearly, 5,000 people died and 125,000 were injured in crashes with a large truck. That’s nearly 14 people a day, or 14 families torn apart by horrible, and often avoidable accidents." Each one of these fatalities and injuries reflects a tragic loss, pain, suffering, or hardship and is truly unacceptable. As the head of the Agency responsible for reducing these fatality and injury rates, I do not waiver in my commitment to prevent and eliminate these avoidable motor carrier crashes. Under the strong leadership of Secretary LaHood, Deputy Secretary Porcari, and with the dedication and support of every man and woman who works for FMCSA, we are steadfast in achieving the Agency’s mission to improve and secure motor carrier safety.
As I will describe in further detail, FMCSA has a number of initiatives and programs underway aimed at achieving our mission. As the new Administrator, it is my job to set a strategic framework in which to prioritize our responsibilities and clearly focus our efforts and resources on a vision of eliminating severe and fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles. FMCSA must:
- Raise the safety bar to enter the industry;
- Require operators to maintain high safety standards to remain in the industry; and
- Remove high-risk operators from our roads and highways.
This strategic framework applies to companies, drivers, brokers, and service-providers alike. To achieve the best outcome within this framework, FMCSA must improve its program and rule-development processes, its stakeholder relationships, and the health of the organization.
While recognizing the important safety work that remains to be accomplished, I would like to point to some of the recent safety improvements in motor carrier safety:
- Total miles traveled by all vehicles has grown significantly over the past 10 years, most significantly for large trucks and buses - there has been a 16 percent increase in miles traveled by these vehicles from 1998 to 2008. In addition, the number of large trucks and buses registered has increased 17 percent over this time period.
- Even with the continued growth in commercial vehicle traffic, the most recent data available show that our Nation's highways experienced their lowest number of fatalities (4,525 in 2008) from crashes involving large trucks and buses since fatal crash data collection began in 1975.
- Fatalities from large truck or bus crashes have dropped for three years in a row, a decline of 15 percent from 2006 to 2008.
- Safety improvements have been realized not only in terms of fatal crashes, but also in injury crashes. In 2008, 113,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks and buses, the lowest number of persons injured in these crashes since 1988, the first year of injury crash data collection.
- The number of people injured in large truck and bus crashes declined 10 percent from 2006 to 2008.
The reduction in severe and fatal crashes involving commercial motor vehicles comes about through the dedication and hard work of many people represented by the stakeholders in this room. We are broadening the participation of these stakeholders on our Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) to improve the transparency of the input we receive about our programs. However, we can and must do more. FMCSA's employees are passionate about saving lives. With clear priorities and productive stakeholder relationships, I assure this Committee and the public that we are on a path to demonstrate the effectiveness of our passion better than ever.
OVERVIEW OF FMCSA
FMCSA's primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle (CMV)-related fatalities and injuries. We achieve this mission through a mix of programs, rules, and resources that together exert direct and indirect influence over approximately 500,000 actively registered commercial motor carriers and 7 million commercial driver licensees. Our direct influence is made possible by FMCSA’s workforce of 1,100 employees, almost 900 of whom are in our field operations utilizing a suite of strong laws, programs, and resources.
Indirectly, we achieve our mission by making it a priority for licensing and law enforcement agencies in 50 States and the District of Columbia through grants, laws, education and partnerships. State commercial vehicle police and inspectors, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employees and examiners, public service commissions, our employees in the field, and employers are the people closest to preventing or enabling an unsafe carrier or driver from operating.
The range of FMCSA's authority, programs and activities includes:
- Commercial Drivers Licenses: FMCSA develops standards to test and license CMV drivers and maintain the Commercial Driver License Information System. Through grants and guidelines States carry out and administer these programs.
- Data and Analysis: FMCSA collects and disseminates safety performance and crash data to improve motor carrier and motorcoach safety.
- Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement: FMCSA directs an aggressive compliance and enforcement program to improve safety performance and remove high-risk carriers from the Nation's highways through reviews of the motor carrier’s compliance with safety and economic regulations.
- Research and Technology: FMCSA works closely with the other modes within DOT on research and technology projects to identify best practices and new technologies that improve the safety of motor carrier operations, CMVs, and drivers.
- Safety Assistance Grants: FMCSA provides financial assistance to conduct roadside inspections, traffic enforcement and other CMV safety programs. These grants promote motor vehicle, motorcoach and motor carrier safety and regulatory uniformity.
- Other Activities: FMCSA supports the development of uniform reciprocal motor carrier safety requirements and procedures throughout North America. It participates in international technical organizations and committees to learn about the best practices in motor carrier and motorcoach safety throughout North America and the rest of the world. It enforces regulations, ensuring safe highway transportation of hazardous materials and enforces statutory and regulatory consumer protection provisions regarding the transportation and delivery of household goods in interstate transportation.
A discussion of current developments in FMCSA’s programs, rules, and resources follows.
COMPREHENSIVE SAFETY ANALYSIS (CSA) 2010
The CSA 2010 initiative, the Agency's new operational enforcement business model, is a critical and far-reaching component in addressing the Agency's priorities and meeting its goals. CSA 2010 represents a move from the current one-size-fits-all compliance review model. Once implemented, it could help FMCSA achieve a greater reduction in large truck and bus crashes and fatalities and injuries by enabling the Agency and our State partners to analyze the safety performance of a much larger population of motor carriers.
CS 2010 will allow more comprehensive review, analysis, and restructuring of FMCSA's current safety fitness determination process and compliance and enforcement programs. The overall goal is to lead FMCSA to a more effective and efficient operational model - one that will have a greater impact on large truck and bus safety while better using Agency resources. This new operational model includes four major elements: (1) measurement, (2) intervention, (3) safety fitness determination, and (4) information technology.
The Agency is planning to begin nationwide CSA 2010 deployment before the end of 2010. At that time, FMCSA plans to replace its current Safety Status Measurement System (SafeStat) with the new Carrier Safety Measurement System (CSMS) and send more comprehensive information on unsafe motor carriers to roadside inspectors. Through CSMS, FMCSA will focus on 7 key behaviors that are linked to CMV crash risk:
- Unsafe Driving
- Fatigued Driving
- Driver Fitness which includes licensing and medical compliance standards
- Crash History
- Vehicle Maintenance
- Improper Loading and Cargo
- Controlled Substances - Drugs and Alcohol
This new measurement system will allow the Agency to identify more high risk carriers based on improved safety performance data than under the previous system.
NEW ENTRANTS TO THE CMV INDUSTRY
FMCSA recently significantly strengthened its New Entrant Safety Assurance Program by raising the standard for successfully completing the new entrant safety audit. The Agency identified 16 safety regulations for which a violation by a new entrant carrier would result in an automatic failure of the safety audit. Any new entrant that fails the safety audit must submit a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) in order to continue to operate in interstate commerce. FMCSA also closely monitors the new entrant during the initial 18-month period of operation and, if certain violations are discovered during a roadside inspection, the new entrant will be subject to an expedited action to correct the identified safety deficiencies. Compliance with the New Entrant rule has been required for just over three months and the statistics on the new entrant safety audits to date show:
- 4,808 New Entrant Carriers underwent safety audits
- 2,184 New Entrant Carriers failed the safety audit
- FMCSA has received approximately 632 Corrective Action Plans (CAP) to date from new entrant carriers.
VETTING - PASSENGER AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS CARRIER
FMCSA has made significant progress in identifying motorcoach carriers that operate illegally and place passengers at risk. After the tragic August 2008 fatal motorcoach crash in Sherman, Texas, FMCSA initiated its passenger carrier vetting program to examine in detail the history and background of new applicants for passenger operating authority to ensure they conform with FMCSA's safety fitness policy. In addition, the vetting process allows FMCSA to discover reincarnated, or "chameleon," passenger carriers before such carriers are authorized to engage in for-hire interstate transportation. The Agency subsequently expanded the program to include interstate household goods carriers. FMCSA has added additional personnel to participate in this labor intensive process, which has proven valuable as FMCSA received over 2,600 applications for operating authority and 879 have had their applications dismissed, denied or withdrawn. FMCSA is exploring the resources needed to expand the vetting program to hazardous materials carriers seeking FMCSA operating authority and eventually to all applicants for authority.
FMCSA still faces challenges keeping these carriers off the roads, however. Unfortunately, although our vetting program denied the application for operating authority from the motorcoach company involved in a crash that killed 6 people near Phoenix, Arizona, on March 5, FMCSA’s rejection of the application did not stop the carrier from operating illegally. FMCSA's investigation of this carrier is continuing, however, the Agency responded swiftly to the carrier's actions. Working with the Department of Justice, FMCSA was able to get the carrier to enter into a consent decree on the day of the crash in which it agreed to immediately cease all interstate and international passenger service. The following day, FMCSA obtained an order from a Federal District Judge further enforcing the consent decree and making any violations subject to the court's contempt powers and associated criminal and civil penalties. The Agency is examining its current authorities to determine if more is needed to prevent unsafe or illegal carriers from operating after authority is denied.
On April 30, 2009, Secretary LaHood ordered a full departmental review of motorcoach safety and the development of a departmental Motorcoach Safety Action Plan. The review considered recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and other transportation stakeholders. On November 16, 2009, the Department released an Action Plan that contains 7 priority action items derived from that review. FMCSA is responsible for implementing 4 of these items: (1) initiating rulemaking to require electronic on-board recording devices on all motorcoaches to better monitor drivers’ duty hours and manage fatigue, (2) initiating rulemaking to propose prohibiting texting and limiting the use of cellular telephones and other devices by motorcoach drivers, (3) enhancing oversight of carriers attempting to evade sanctions and of other unsafe motorcoach companies, and (4) establishing minimum knowledge requirements for passenger transportation authority applicants.
In addition, FMCSA has increased the number of compliance reviews (CRs) conducted on motorcoach companies. In FY 2005, FMCSA and our State partners conducted 457 motorcoach company CRs. The FMCSA increased this number to 646 in FY 2006. The FMCSA conducted 1,304 motorcoach company CRs in FY 2007, which more than doubled the previous period's efforts. In FY 2008, the Agency completed 1,307 CRs. The FMCSA completed 1,286 motorcoach company CRs in FY 2009. Given that there are approximately 3,100 motorcoach companies in the United States, FMCSA conducted CRs on about one-third of the industry during each of the past three fiscal years.
The FMCSA requires State agencies to include a formal motorcoach inspection program in their Commercial Vehicle Safety Plan in order to receive grant funding through the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP). As a result of this initiative, the number of motorcoach inspections increased annually for the last several years. In Fiscal Year 2005, States inspected 12,991 motorcoaches and in FY 2009 inspected 28,957 motorcoaches.
COMPLIANCE WITH AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)
In late 2008, the Agency sent informational letters to authorized over-the-road bus companies and over 100 disability stakeholder organizations about the Over-the-Road Bus Transportation Accessibility Act of 2007 (OTRBTAA). In compliance with the OTRBTAA, in February 2009, FMCSA and the Department of Justice executed a Memorandum of Understanding that defines the respective enforcement efforts of both agencies for accessibility requirements of the ADA.
In March 2009, FMCSA began conducting ADA Reviews (ADARs) to investigate the regulatory compliance of over-the-road bus companies. As of February 23, 2010, FMCSA had conducted 33 ADARs on large and small fixed route over-the-road bus companies. FMCSA had initially targeted large fixed route companies for ADARs because this industry sector transports the largest number of passengers. No major violations have been discovered to date.
COMMERCIAL ENFORCEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS (HHG)
The FMCSA regulates household goods carrier and broker compliance with motor carrier safety regulations, financial responsibility requirements and commercial regulations. Our authority provides protection to consumers during interstate moves by defining the rights and responsibilities of consumers, household goods carriers and brokers.
In FY 2009, FMCSA Safety Investigators conducted 557 HHG reviews; responded to 2,127 consumer complaints, many of which were satisfactorily resolved by HHG staff; and maintained a consumer based "Protect Your Move" web site (www.protectyourmove.gov). FMCSA issued an enforcement policy identifying and targeting the top 100 household goods carriers for compliance reviews. These carriers are generally those that receive the most consumer complaints, although some have also been identified as unsafe or as operating while their authority has been inactivated. For the last two years, FMCSA field staff have conducted strike forces on household goods carriers that have been identified as unsafe and the subject of various consumer complaints. In FY 2009, the strike force activity concluded, having completed 224 targeted compliance reviews that resulted in 50 enforcement cases.
The Government Accountability Office recently published its final report on the HHG moving industry stating that progress has been made in enforcement, but indicating that increased focus on consumer protection is needed. The report identified the enforcement tools used to regulate the HHG industry, noting that FMCSA conducted 629 HHG reviews in FY 2008. The report also identifies a provision in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) that permits State regulatory agencies and State Attorneys General to bring Federal consumer protection actions against interstate HHG carriers that has not been implemented by States.
FMCSA recently launched the initial phase of its Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) to provide motor carriers with access to crash and inspection data found in FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) on drivers they are seeking to hire. The driver must provide his or her prior written consent to have information released to the motor carrier. The program is expected to be rolled out next month.
SAFETY BELT USE
Safety belts save lives and FMCSA is committed to promoting and educating CMV drivers on the importance of using them. In March, FMCSA announced that safety belt use for CMV drivers has improved. New data show that 74 percent of commercial truck and bus drivers currently use their safety belts, an improvement from the 65 percent of drivers who were using safety belts in 2007. It is important, however, to note the key research findings that show there is work yet to be done:
- In States where not wearing a safety belt is a primary offense, 78 percent of CMV drivers and their occupants used safety belts, compared to a 67 percent usage rate for CMV drivers and their occupants in States with weaker belt use laws.
- CMV drivers for regional or national fleets showed higher safety belt use at 78 percent, versus 64 percent for independent owner-operators.
- Safety belt use rates for CMV drivers and their occupants were highest at 79 percent in the West, compared with 75 percent in the South, 68 percent in the Midwest, and 64 percent in the Northeast.
DRIVER MEDICAL STANDARDS - PROGRAMS
The FMCSA's medical program promotes the safety of America's roadways through the development and implementation of medical qualification standards that ensure physical qualifications of interstate truck and bus drivers. The Agency receives important advice and recommendations concerning the physical qualifications and standards for CMV drivers from its Medical Review Board (MRB), a Federal Advisory Committee Act committee. FMCSA staff reviews MRB recommendations in developing regulatory options for future rulemakings.
In the meantime, FMCSA is phasing in new regulatory requirements issued in December 2008 to combine the medical certification process with the commercial driver's license (CDL) issuance and renewal process. The rule requires interstate CDL holders and those applying for a CDL to operate heavy trucks and buses in interstate commerce to provide a copy of the medical certificate to the State licensing agency as proof the individual is medically qualified to drive commercial vehicles in interstate commerce.
Later this year, FMCSA expects to issue a final rule to establish a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. This rulemaking would establish minimum training and testing requirements for all healthcare professionals that issue medical certificates for interstate truck and bus drivers.
HOURS OF SERVICE FOR TRUCK DRIVERS
Regulating the number of hours commercial drivers may work has been a Federal government responsibility for 75 years, beginning with the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). Through the years, there have been three reforms of the rules, the most notable of which was the April 2003 rule, when FMCSA made significant revisions. The 2003 rule limited driving to 11 hours within a 14-hour, non-extendable window after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty (known as the 11-hour rule). Although the rules concerning weekly limits for on-duty time were unchanged, drivers were allowed to restart the weekly limit calculation after they took 34 consecutive hours off duty (known as the 34-hour restart provision). The rule also extended the requisite off-duty time from 8 to 10 hours, providing drivers more time for restorative rest.
As this Subcommittee is well aware, FMCSA's efforts to craft revised hours of service (HOS) regulations for CMV drivers has been an arduous process and has resulted in court challenges. In October 2009, FMCSA entered into a settlement agreement with parties that had challenged the rule and agreed to undertake a new rulemaking.
One of my top priorities as Administrator has been to elicit the views of the many individuals and entities affected by this rule and for the Agency to craft an HOS rule that provides the best framework for managing fatigue and making our roads as safe as possible.
To that end, in December 2009, FMCSA tasked its MCSAC with providing the Agency with a list of ideas and concepts that should be considered in drafting a HOS rule. In January, FMCSA took steps to encourage all interested parties to help the Agency identify new research and perspectives. Specifically, the Agency posted the MCSAC’s meeting notes, opened the HOS public docket and held a series of public "listening sessions" around the country. Over 3,500 people participated in the listening sessions - in person, by phone, or web - to provide a broad range of comments, ideas, information, and relevant research the Agency might consider in developing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). We are committed to using all of the information we have received to propose a rule that addresses the concerns of our stakeholders and presents the safest option. FMCSA intends to publish its NPRM later this year and issue a Final Rule no later than July 2011.
ELECTRONIC ON-BOARD RECORDERS (EOBRs)
On April 5, 2010, the Agency took another step toward reducing the number of fatigue related crashes by publishing a final rule mandating the use of EOBRs by carriers that have violated the hours of service rules. This action will reduce the likelihood of falsified or incomplete records of duty status.
The final rule follows up on the January 2007 NPRM but broadens the remedial directive to require installation of EOBRs on many more carriers. It represents a significant step forward in response to Congressional concerns about the 2007 NPRM, the NTSB Most Wanted Safety Recommendation concerning EOBRs, and the public comments we received in response to the proposal. The final rule establishes: 1) a new performance-oriented standard for EOBR technology; 2) a mandate for certain motor carriers to use EOBRs to remediate regulatory noncompliance (a remedial directive); and 3) incentives to promote voluntary EOBR use by all carriers. The rule will result in approximately 5,700 motor carriers being required to use EOBRs each year after the first full year of implementation.
Since the Department's historic Distracted Driving Summit last fall, FMCSA has played an active role in supporting Secretary LaHood's efforts in bringing to bear all the tools at DOT's disposal to address this critical safety issue. FMCSA completed its "Driver Distraction in Commercial Vehicle Operations" study and released the final report on October 1, 2009. The purpose of the study was to investigate the prevalence of driver distraction in CMV safety-critical events (e.g., crashes, near-crashes, unintended lane departures). The study included over 200 truck drivers and 3 million miles of data. The dataset was obtained by placing video recorders on vehicles and monitoring the behavior of real drivers driving in real-world situations.
The study concluded that drivers who engage in texting took their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of the 6 seconds prior to a safety-critical event. At 55 miles per hour, this means that the driver is traveling the length of a football field, including the end zones, without looking at the road and is 23 times more likely to have a safety critical event than drivers who do not text while driving. Because of the safety risks associated with texting while driving, FMCSA took expedited action. The Agency published regulatory guidance in the Federal Register on January 27 regarding the applicability of current regulations to texting by commercial motor vehicle drivers. The regulatory guidance clarified that truck and bus drivers operating in interstate commerce who text while driving commercial vehicles may be subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750. FMCSA followed up on the regulatory guidance by publishing a NPRM with an explicit prohibition against texting on April 1, 2010. The NPRM also provides driver disqualification penalties that would enable FMCSA and its State partners to take unsafe drivers off of the road.
As part of our effort to get the maximum amount of public participation and collaboration in the texting rulemaking, the Department announced an unprecedented partnership with Cornell University. The Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative (CeRI) partnership will make the Federal regulatory process more accessible to the public through its "Regulation Room," an online public participation environment where people can learn about and discuss proposed Federal regulations and provide effective feedback to the Department. This is an important step toward keeping President Obama’s promise of opening government to more effective public citizen participation.
DRUG AND ALCOHOL DATABASE
FMCSA is currently drafting a proposed rule that would mandate reporting requirements to identify CDL holders who test positive for drugs or alcohol or otherwise fail to comply with drug and alcohol testing requirements. The system will also track a driver’s compliance with the return-to-duty requirements of the Department's workplace drug and alcohol testing programs.
UNIFORM CARRIER REGISTRATION PLAN AND AGREEMENT (UCR)
The UCR is a fee program established under SAFETEA-LU as a means to provide States with funds equivalent to the revenue they collected under a previous, State-only program known as Single State Registration System (SSRS). Many States use UCR fee revenue to pay for motor carrier enforcement programs.
The UCR law requires FMCSA to set a fee schedule based upon a recommendation by a governing board composed largely of State and motor carrier industry members. The fee schedule must be projected to provide approximately $108 million in revenue to the 41 participating States.
The UCR Board proposed a change in the 2010 fee schedule prompting a rule-making cycle that has encountered a series of delays. The rule was published on April 27. The States now have the authority they need to begin collecting fees for calendar year 2010 to support important motor carrier safety programs to protect the traveling public.
MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
MCSAP grants provide financial assistance to States to help them reduce the number and severity of CMV involved crashes, fatalities, and injuries through consistent, uniform, and effective CMV safety programs. It uses crash and fatality rates as critical performance measures. One of the strengths of MCSAP is its performance-based structure. Although FMCSA limits spending eligibility and sets performance goals in a range of areas based on the Agency’s targeted safety program elements, our State partners have the flexibility to mix and match a range of strategies that they believe will be most effective in reducing their CMV fatality and crash rates based on specific needs of their State. States conduct compliance reviews, safety audits, roadside inspections, and other programs to improve CMV safety. While FMCSA provides guidance and direction in a number of areas based on analyses of nationwide safety data, we do not dictate a prescriptive program for each State expecting them to produce a completed, effective plan of action. In FY 2009, MCSAP lead agencies or sub-grantees employed 13,300 certified CMV inspectors almost 11,000 of which had traffic enforcement authority. FY 2010 funding for MCSAP is $212,000,000.
COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE (CDL) IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
FMCSA works closely with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and the States to improve CDL driver history record (DHR) data quality and the timely exchange of conviction, withdrawal, and other DHR data elements. Through a phased implementation of electronic edit checks that prevent the movement of bad data from one State to another, and a battery of matrices and reports that notify States of their compliance with the requirements for accurate, complete, and timely exchange of information, FMCSA continues to ensure that the data elements critical to the success of the CDL program are improving.
FMCSA has expanded fraud prevention through a grant-funded update of the AAMVA Fraudulent Document Recognition training for frontline State driver licensing agency employees. The Agency also assisted the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General in investigating fraudulent CDL practices throughout the country. Recently, FMCSA provided grant funds to help enhance and increase usage of the Fraud Emergency Warning System maintained by AAMVA, which allows for real-time alerts to State driver licensing agencies on the potential for fraudulent activities and suspicious documents.
To ensure that States are making continuous improvements in their compliance with the CDL program requirements, in the coming months, FMCSA will deploy the Automated Compliance Review System. This web-based system will provide real-time tracking of State compliance issues. It will also allow FMCSA to generate reports that document outstanding compliance issues at the State or national level. Through this increased reporting, FMCSA can focus its oversight efforts and provide targeted outreach and education to assist States with specific compliance issues.
FMCSA relies on high quality data for identifying CMV safety issues, assessing individual carrier safety performance, and allocating enforcement and compliance resources. The Agency has developed, an online system, known as DataQs, that allows motor carriers, commercial drivers, State agencies, FMCSA staff, and the general public, to request a review of the accuracy of Federal and State data collected by FMCSA. With the implementation of CSA 2010, which relies heavily on high quality data, and the initiation of the Pre-employment Screening Program, which, as described above, provides drivers’ crash and inspection data to prospective employers, it is important that DataQs is effective in resolving data issues quickly and responsively. To assist responsible agencies in meeting data quality requirements, FMCSA is developing a DataQs operational procedures guide.
FMCSA is continuously developing and researching new technologies that improve commercial vehicle safety. Such technology resources include applications that help avoid a crash, prevent rollovers, and warn of lane departures. The technologies improve CMV operations, limit technical and mechanical road failures, and reduce the probability of crashes involving CMVs. Examples of FMCSA’s technology resource development include the following programs and activities:
Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN):
FMCSA plans to implement an electronic credentialing function. Electronic credentialing will allow carriers to submit various credentials, including International Registration Plan and International Fuel Tax Agreement credentials, to States for automated electronic processing via Web-based or computer-to-computer solutions. States that implemented e-credentialing have reported noticeable benefits.
Onboard Safety System Testing Program:
FMCSA has partnered with motor carriers to test and evaluate several onboard safety systems and identified those systems that showed promise for having the greatest impact on reducing crashes
New Technologies Evaluated at the CMV Roadside Technology Corridor:
In partnership with the Tennessee Department of Safety, Tennessee Department of Transportation, University of Tennessee, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Agency created the Commercial Motor Vehicle Roadside Technology Corridor in Tennessee. The goal of the Corridor is to provide a test bed for existing, new, and emerging truck and bus safety and enforcement technologies and concepts. Currently, the partnering agencies are evaluating a fully automated inspection station screening device - (Smart Infrared Inspection System (SIRIS) - that uses temperature measurements derived from infrared cameras to identify trucks with potential brake, tire, or hub defects.
Creating Opportunities, Methods, And Practices To Secure Safety (COMPASS): Business Improvement And Information Technology Modernization Program
The COMPASS information technology modernization effort is a multi-year, FMCSA-wide initiative to improve data accessibility, data quality, system flexibility, and business processes. COMPASS and CSA 2010 are closely integrated efforts within FMCSA. The Agency plans to issue incremental releases of COMPASS as legacy systems are replaced; these releases will be closely aligned with the roll-out of the new CSA measurement system (CSMS) later this year.
In summary, over the course of the Agency's past 10 years, there have been encouraging results in declining numbers of severe crashes and fatalities involving commercial vehicles thanks to the dedicated work and commitment of FMCSA’s employees and stakeholders. Yet, we are not satisfied with the progress to-date. We cannot justify or explain away the CMV crashes that take lives not ready to leave this earth and destroy the fabric of their families’ joy. With the strategic framework and expectations I outlined at the beginning of my presentation and the foundation of programs, rules and resources described herein, we are poised to achieve more significant gains in saving lives than ever before.
Thank you for inviting me to discuss the FMCSA's current work and future programs. I would be pleased to respond to any questions you may have.