[Federal Register: August 20, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 161)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[Docket No. FMCSA-2004-18898 and FMCSA-1998-3639]
Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 Initiative
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
ACTION: Notice of Public Listening Sessions.
SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
announces a series of Public Listening Sessions to solicit input on
ways the FMCSA can improve its process of monitoring and assessing the
safety of the motor carrier industry and how that information should be
presented to the public. FMCSA is calling this effort the Comprehensive
Safety Analysis 2010 Initiative. Through its current compliance review
process, FMCSA is able to conduct compliance reviews on only a small
percentage of the 675,000 active interstate motor carriers. The FMCSA
is looking for ways to improve monitoring of motor carriers, to make
agency processes more efficient, and to expand its enforcement and
compliance reach in the regulated community in order to improve FMCSA's
ability to meet its goal of significantly reducing crashes, fatalities,
and injuries involving large trucks and buses.
Dates and Locations: The Public Listening Sessions will be held
from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the following dates at the following
Session 1: September 21, 2004--Doubletree Hotel, Mission Valley,
7450 Hazard Center Drive, San Diego, California.
Session 2: September 28, 2004--Sheraton Atlanta, 165 Courtland
Street at International Blvd, Atlanta, Georgia.
Session 3: October 5, 2004--Hampton Inn & Suites Dallas/Mesquite,
1700 Rodeo Drive, Mesquite, Texas.
Session 4: October 12, 2004--Wyndham Chicago, 633 North St. Clair,
Session 5: October 19, 2004--Fairview Park Marriot, 3111 Fairview
Park Drive, Falls Church, VA.
Session 6: October 26, 2004--Sheraton Springfield, One Monarch
Place, Springfield, MA.
Registration for each session will be limited. For more information
or to register to attend or speak at the Public Listening Sessions, see
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT below.
ADDRESSES: You may also submit written comments identified by DOT DMS
Docket Number FMCSA-2004-18898 and FMCSA-1998-3639 by any of the
http://dms.dot.gov. Follow the instructions for
submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401,
Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif
Building, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and
docket number for this proceeding. Note that all comments received will
be posted without change to http://dms.dot.gov, including any personal
information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading for further
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments received, go to http://dms.dot.gov at any time or to Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street SW.,
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,
except Federal holidays.
Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register
published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or
you may visit http://dms.dot.gov
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To register to attend a Public
Listening Session, please follow one of two methods:
(a) Go online to: http://www.Acteva.com/go/FMCSA and fill in the
necessary information. You will be asked for information such as your
name, title, organization, mailing address and which session you wish
to attend; or
(b) Telephone Touchstone Consulting, Inc. in Washington, DC at
(202) 449-7354 and a person will register you over the phone.
Please note that registration for the Public Listening Sessions
will open at 9 a.m. EDT on August 30, 2004 and will end at 5 p.m. EDT
on the Tuesday preceding each session. For example, registration for
the October 26, 2004 Public Listening Session will close 5 p.m. EDT
Tuesday October 19, 2004.
Registration at each Public Listening Session will be limited to
the first people to sign up. You will be asked for identification at
the welcome table at the event. Lunch will be served.
All attendees will be encouraged to participate during the Public
Listening Session discussion periods.
For general information about this initiative, contact Mr. William
Quade, (202) 366-2172, FMCSA, Office of Enforcement and Compliance, 400
Seventh Street, SW., Room 8310, Washington, DC 20590 or at
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FMCSA is reviewing its process for
monitoring and assessing the safety of the motor carrier industry.
FMCSA would like its safety oversight process to reflect a proactive,
research-based, legally supportable, comprehensive approach to
improving commercial motor vehicle safety--one that maximizes use of
FMCSA resources including information systems and technology, reduces
high-risk behavior in the motor carrier industry, and enhances FMCSA's
ability to meet its goal of significantly reducing crashes, fatalities,
and injuries involving large trucks and buses. Although the current
process reflects these attributes, the agency recognizes the
limitations of the process and wants to address them.
To that end, FMCSA is holding six Public Listening Sessions to
solicit ideas and feedback from its stakeholders and all interested
parties, including the industry, drivers, insurance groups, safety
advocacy groups, and FMCSA's governmental partners, especially States,
concerning how FMCSA might improve its process of monitoring and
assessing the safety of the motor carrier industry. The Public
Listening Sessions will be arranged and facilitated by a FMCSA
The compliance review (CR) is the centerpiece of FMCSA's current
oversight program and is an effective tool for saving lives and
assessing a carrier's safety condition. FMCSA's current CR program uses
adherence to Federal laws and regulations as the primary indicator of
the safety posture of a motor carrier. This tool focuses on motor
carriers and renders safety fitness determinations in accordance with
Congressional mandates expressed in 49 U.S.C. 31144, Safety fitness of
owners and operators (requirement for safety fitness determination of
owners and operators of commercial motor vehicles). While FMCSA
determines, to a limited extent, the compliance and safety of
commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and pursues enforcement against
them, if warranted, the safety fitness of individual CMV drivers is not
evaluated by current FMCSA systems. Also, because the CR relies on the
USDOT number as a unique identifier, safety fitness assessments do not
track the individuals within a motor carrier responsible for safety
such as CMV drivers, corporate officers, partners, or safety directors.
Impetus for Change
Since the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (MCSIA)
(Pub. L. 106-159, 13 Stat. 1748) created FMCSA as an independent DOT
modal agency, the motor carrier population has increased steadily. At
the same time, FMCSA's programmatic responsibilities have also
Implementation of Congressional mandates such as the New
Entrant Program (Section 210 of MCSIA);
Preparing for the opening of the border with Mexico; and
Taking an increased role in ensuring transportation
FMCSA's existing compliance and safety programs improve and promote
safety performance. However, despite increases in regulated population
and programmatic responsibilities, resources for these efforts remain
relatively constant. This flattening of resources renders it difficult
for existing programs, and the information systems that support these
programs, to maintain prolonged and sustained improvements to motor
In its present structure, FMCSA's CR program is resource intensive
and reaches only a small percentage of motor carriers. On-site CRs take
one safety investigator an average of 3 to 4 days to complete so, at
present staffing levels, FMCSA can perform CRs on only a small portion
of the 675,000 active interstate motor carriers. In addition, the
current CR program does not easily reflect the impact that people
involved in the carrier's operation, such as managers, owners, and
drivers operators, have on safety. Delayed, incomplete, and inaccurate
data impede efforts to establish a performance-based, automated, data-
driven process for improving safety performance. These limitations have
caused FMCSA to explore ways to improve its safety oversight process.
The Public Listening Sessions Seek Stakeholder Input
FMCSA has developed a preliminary list of ideal attributes and
basic components that FMCSA believes should be part of any model for
FMCSA's oversight of the industry:
Flexible--Adaptable to Changing Environment.
Efficient--Maximize Use of Resources.
Effective-Improve Safety Performance.
Innovative--Leverage Data and Technology.
Equitable--Fair and Unbiased.
During the Public Listening Sessions FMCSA will explain its
processes and research to date, and describe the attributes and
components the Agency believes are appropriate underpinnings to
evaluate safety fitness. FMCSA will accept comments on the desired
state of safety compliance in the industry, the suitability of the
preliminary list of attributes and components, and the information,
processes, and strategies FMCSA should consider for a new approach to
The Public Listening Sessions will include a morning plenary
session and up to four facilitated afternoon breakout sessions. The
participants will be invited to discuss, among other things, the
1. How effective is FMCSA's current compliance review process? What
is working now? Not working?
2. What alternative methods should FMCSA consider for determining
carrier safety fitness and for addressing unsafe behaviors?
3. What should be the focus of FMCSA's safety analysis process?
Motor carriers? Drivers? Owners? Other people or entities associated
4. Should FMCSA present its safety evaluations to the public? How?
5. What should be the key attributes of a program to assess motor
6. How should safety be measured? This measurement may be used to
focus FMCSA resources and to assess safety under 49 U.S.C. 31144,
Safety fitness of owners and operators.
A. Which data elements (crashes, inspection results, violations,
financial condition) are the best indicators of safe (or unsafe)
operations? Are there other important safety indicators we currently
B. How should FMCSA consider historical data when measuring safety?
C. How should FMCSA consider unique characteristics of the
operations (hazardous materials, passengers, others) when measuring
7. What compliance and enforcement tools are most effective?
Currently FMCSA's interventions include issuing warning letters,
issuing civil penalties, and placing motor carriers out-of-service.
A. What types of interventions are most effective?
B. How should FMCSA use history and characteristics of the motor
carrier's operations in determining which intervention is appropriate?
Effect on Other Regulations
FMCSA is conducting a related rulemaking proceeding (RIN AA37;
Docket No. FMCSA-1998-3639) to examine the Safety Fitness Procedures
the agency uses to rate motor carriers. An Advance Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking was published for this docket in 1998 (63 FR 38788; July 20,
1998). These listening sessions are broader in scope than the Safety
Fitness Procedures, because they relate to FMCSA's entire compliance
review and safety analysis process, FMCSA does anticipate that some of
the comments at the listening session or comments to the docket may
contain information relevant to the Safety Fitness Procedures
proceeding. Therefore, FMCSA will be adding all comments made during
the listening sessions and comments made to this docket to Docket No.
FMCSA-1998-3639 for RIN 2126-AA37. FMCSA anticipates publishing a
subsequent rulemaking notice under RIN 2126-AA37 following analysis of
the listening sessions and decisions on FMCSA's long-term plan for
monitoring motor carrier safety.
Issued on: August 18, 2004.
Warren E. Hoemann,
[FR Doc. 04-19239 Filed 8-18-04; 2:16 pm]