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Government Update: FMCSA Changes

FMCSA Changes and the capitol building

On November 4, 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released some long-awaited changes to the presentation of the BASIC data and the information available on a motor carrier’s roadside inspection history. The intent of this release is to alleviate some of the confusion that had existed between the official safety rating of a motor carrier (Satisfactory, Conditional, Unsatisfactory, or Not Rated) and the BASIC data that is used as a prioritization tool for safety interventions and compliance reviews.

These screenshots, from the FMCSA preview page, showcase examples of the proposed new carrier profiles.

Seasonal Logistics

 

Seasonal Logistics

Shippers should be aware of three major proposed changes to the data presentation:

1) The official safety rating and other data from the licensing and insurance system has been added to the summary screenshot of the motor carrier. In September 2012, C.H. Robinson’s Director of Carrier Services, Bruce Johnson, offered testimony before the U.S. House Transportation Committee regarding the CSA program. His first recommendation was to add the safety rating to the BASIC data and we commend FMCSA for this addition.

2) The numerical portion of the BASIC data has been moved off the summary page. A motor carrier’s numerical prioritization assessment can still be found under the Tools/Resources column if you click on the “Print-ready measurement profile” tab. This appears to be an attempt by FMCSA to de-emphasize the data of a motor carrier in comparison to the actual safety rating.

3) The BASIC data will be displayed in a more accurate spectrum to reflect the carrier’s peer group standing in each category rather than a single number that was often mistaken as a percentage rather than a percentile.

FMCSA is collecting comments regarding the proposed redesign of motor carrier safety data for 60 days and will activate these changes shortly thereafter. FMCSA is still working on a rulemaking called the Safety Fitness Determination that will link the BASIC data directly to the safety rating. However, until then, the proposed redesign and consolidation of all motor carrier safety data in the November 4, 2013 announcement should alleviate some of the confusion previously created when users had to review two separate systems to access complete carrier data.