Future Enhancements to the Safety Measurement System (SMS), 69185-69189 [2016-24114]

Download as PDF asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 193 / Wednesday, October 5, 2016 / Notices is not in the process of being collected. Extensive background research was conducted to ensure the study was not duplicative. A previous study, done by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2015, asked for similar information but did not produce specific enough data to be used in this study. The survey will be sent out via email, with the option for online completion using SurveyMonkey®. Each State can respond via email or the online survey depending on which method is more convenient for the respondent. The welcome letter will indicate that FMCSA prefers responses via the online survey tool. The information collected will be published annually in a report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives. The first report is due to Congress no later than June 1, 2017. Subsequent reports will be published on an annual basis thereafter. Title: Survey on CDL Skills Testing Delays. OMB Control Number: To be determined. Type of Request: New collection. Respondents: State CDL Coordinators (one from each of the 50 States, and one from Washington, DC). Estimated Number of Respondents: 51. Estimated Time per Response: 2.2 hours (132 minutes). Expiration Date: N/A. This is a new ICR. Frequency of Response: Annually. Estimated Total Annual Burden: The annual burden is estimated to be no more than 2.2 hours (132 minutes) per respondent, which equates to 112.2 hours over the universe of 51 respondents. This estimate contains a maximum of 2 hours to gather information from State information systems, and an estimated maximum of 12 minutes to respond to the survey. While States that already track and report similar information may need much less than 2 hours to gather information, discussions with subject matter experts led to an agreement that 2 hours was a reasonable maximum time limit to use to estimate the maximum annual burden expected. The estimate time for survey completion was calculated using Versta Research’s methodology for calculating an estimate of survey length, where each question is given a number of points based on the estimated burden required to respond to the question (for example, simple multiple choice questions are 1 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Oct 04, 2016 Jkt 241001 point, whereas short answer questions are 3 points per expected short phrase). The total number of points for all questions is then divided by eight (the number of simple questions a user can respond to online in 1 minute) to determine the estimate required length for finishing the survey. Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed collection is necessary for the performance of FMCSA’s functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways for FMCSA to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The Agency will summarize or include your comments in the request for OMB’s clearance of this information collection. Issued under the authority of 49 CFR 1.87 on: Dated: September 29, 2016. Kelly Regal, Associate Administrator for Office of Research and Information Technology. [FR Doc. 2016–24177 Filed 10–4–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2015–0149] Future Enhancements to the Safety Measurement System (SMS) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT). ACTION: Notice; response to public comments; request for public comments. AGENCY: FMCSA proposes enhancements to information on the public Safety Measurement System (SMS) Web site and responds to comments received in response to FMCSA’s Federal Register Notice, ‘‘Proposal for Future Enhancements to the Motor Carrier Safety Measurement System (SMS),’’ published on June 29, 2015. These enhancements are a continuation of the Agency’s efforts to provide law enforcement, the motor carrier industry, and motor carriers with more informative safety data. This notice explains the Agency’s proposed enhancements to the public SMS Web site, including two additional changes not originally proposed, which were identified during the development of SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00150 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 69185 the SMS Preview. FMCSA has provided information about the proposed enhancements to the National Academies of Sciences to consider in the Correlation Study required by Section 5221 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The proposed enhancements will be available for preview, at: https:// csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMSPreview/ on October 4, 2016. The Agency seeks comments on these changes based on the preview. The Agency will not implement the changes until after the Agency satisfies the requirements of Section 5223 of the FAST Act. DATES: Comments must be received by December 3, 2016. Question and answer (Q&A) sessions for the public and industry are scheduled for the following dates and times: 1. Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 10:00– 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) 2. Thursday, October 13, 2016, 2:00– 3:30 p.m. ET 3. Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 3:00–4:30 p.m. ET 4. Thursday, October 20, 2016, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. ET For more information on these sessions, see Section V. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System Docket ID (FMCSA–2015–0149) using any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Fax: 1–202–493–2251. Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12–140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The online Federal document E:\FR\FM\05OCN1.SGM 05OCN1 69186 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 193 / Wednesday, October 5, 2016 / Notices management system is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want acknowledgment that the Agency received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments online. Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning this notice, contact Mr. David Yessen, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, telephone 609– 275–2606 or by email at david.yessen@ dot.gov. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services at 202– 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Public Participation and Request for Comments FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and related materials. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES A. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (FMCSA–2015–0149), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these methods. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that the Agency can contact you if it has questions regarding your submission. To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and put the docket number, ‘‘FMCSA–2015–0149’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ When the new screen appears, click on the ‘‘Comment Now!’’’ button and type your comment into the text box in the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Oct 04, 2016 Jkt 241001 suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and materials received during the comment period and may change the approach discussed in this notice based on your comments. B. Viewing Comments and Documents To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, ‘‘FMCSA–2015– 0149’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ button and choose the document listed to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. II. Background On June 29, 2015 (80 FR 37037), FMCSA proposed the following SMS enhancements and requested initial comments on them in advance of providing motor carriers to preview how their safety performance data would be presented on the SMS Web site. 1. Changing some of the SMS Intervention Thresholds to better reflect the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories’ (BASICs) correlation to crash risk. 2. Two changes to the Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance BASIC: a. Segmenting the HM Compliance BASIC by Cargo Tank (CT) and non-CT carriers; and b. Releasing motor carrier percentile rankings under the HM Compliance BASIC to the public. 3. Reclassifying violations for operating while Out of Service (OOS) under the Unsafe Driving BASIC rather than the BASIC of the underlying OOS violation. 4. Increasing the maximum Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) used in the Utilization Factor to more accurately reflect the operations of high-utilization carriers. The Agency’s analysis and explanations were provided in the June 29, 2015 notice. Stakeholders had 30 days to submit comments. The comment period ended on July 29, 2015. After receiving and analyzing the comments in response to this preview, PO 00000 Frm 00151 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FMCSA will provide the results to the National Academies of Sciences to consider during the Correlation Study required by Sections 5221 and 5223 of the FAST Act, related to SMS and public display. The study required by Section 5221 is required to be within 18 months of the enactment of the Act. III. Summary of Public Comments and Response FMCSA received 50 docket comments in response to the June 29, 2015 notice. However, only 30 of the submissions contained comments specifically on the changes proposed in that notice. The commenters included motor carriers, drivers, industry associations, and safety advocates. Relevant input and feedback were received from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), American Association for Justice (AAJ), American Bus Association (ABA), American Trucking Associations, Inc. (ATA), Con-way Freight, FedEx Corporation (FedEx), Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME), National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. (NMFTA), National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Schneider National, Inc. (Schneider), Snack Food Association (SFA), Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), Werner Enterprises, Inc. (Werner), YRC Worldwide Inc., and individuals who did not identify their organizations. Many stakeholders provided comments on multiple proposed enhancements and topics. Comments outside the scope of the June proposal are not discussed in this notice. In addition, many stakeholders requested additional analysis on the proposed enhancements to better inform their comments. Detailed analysis on the proposed enhancements from the June notice, as well as the additional enhancements proposed in this notice, are available in the Foundational Document at: https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/ Documents/SMS-Preview-FoundationalDocument.pdf. Below is a summary of the comments received that address the proposed changes and the Agency’s responses: 1. Changing Some of the SMS Intervention Thresholds To Better Reflect the BASICs’ Correlation To Crash Risk Arleen Wells commented that the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC Intervention Threshold should not go higher, but raising the percentage for the Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASIC Intervention Threshold was an E:\FR\FM\05OCN1.SGM 05OCN1 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 193 / Wednesday, October 5, 2016 / Notices ‘‘excellent idea.’’ George Hopkins felt that changing the Vehicle Maintenance threshold is not productive, as many of the violations are ‘‘not going to result in a crash.’’ Another anonymous commenter expressed concern that the proposed Vehicle Maintenance BASIC Intervention Threshold change would hurt flatbed carriers. OOIDA questioned the Agency’s logic for the Vehicle Maintenance Intervention Threshold pointing out that ‘‘The inclusion of an additional 5% of motor carriers with lower Vehicle BASIC scores causes the average number of accidents per power unit above the new threshold to increase 7%. These numbers more than illustrate the randomness and ineffectiveness of FMCSA’s reliance on correlation rather than causation.’’ However, Con-way Freight supported the adjustments to the BASIC Intervention Thresholds to better prioritize carriers. SFA ‘‘commend[ed] the Agency for taking these preliminary moves to more closely correlate its enforcement interventions to actual crash risk.’’ ATA, TIA, and Schneider supported adjusting the SMS Intervention Thresholds. TIA ‘‘applaud[ed] the proposed enhancements to the Safety Measurement System (SMS), specifically, better adjusting some of the SMS interventions.’’ ATA recommended that the Agency adjust the thresholds further to yield even better results. NTSB voiced concern about whether the Agency has sufficient resources to reach the 41,000 carriers that will be at or above the proposed Intervention Thresholds. Regarding the Controlled Substances/ Alcohol Intervention Threshold change, an anonymous commenter advised, ‘‘I am saddened by the proposal to raise the threshold for controlled substances. I believe that it sends the wrong message to the public and reflects poorly on the industry.’’ AAJ requested that the Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASIC remain unchanged, emphasizing that the change ‘‘ignores the real and serious risks of impaired driving.’’ AAJ cited a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Drug and Alcohol Crash Risk Study, which found that drivers with an alcohol level of 0.08% were four times more likely to crash than sober drivers and that marijuana users were about 25% more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers with no evidence of marijuana use.1 Advocates did not support the 1 Compton, R.P. & Berning, A. (2015, February). Drug and alcohol crash risk. (Traffic Safety Facts VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Oct 04, 2016 Jkt 241001 proposed change to the Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASIC pointing out that ‘‘Raising the intervention levels to 90% would then only identify the bottom 10% of carriers, even though all carriers above the 50th percentile are below average.’’ FMCSA issued an amendment to the enforcement policy for its Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMSP) program prior to the release of the June notice on the proposed SMS enhancements. This amendment uses the SMS results under the current Intervention Thresholds to monitor carriers that have non-temporary HMSPs and prioritize them for investigations focused on HM compliance. IME requested that the Agency clarify whether the proposed Intervention Thresholds will replace the current thresholds outlined in this amendment. FMCSA Response FMCSA disagrees with OOIDA’s assertion that the change to the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC Intervention Threshold does not have a correlation to crash risk. The baseline crash rate of 5.12 crashes per 100 Power Units (PUs) is not limited to the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC. Rather, it applies to any of the seven BASICs that are at or above the current Intervention Thresholds. Therefore, the 7% increase in crash rate includes lowering the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC threshold from 80% to 75%, as well as raising the Intervention Thresholds for the Driver Fitness, HM Compliance, and Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASICs from 80% to 90%. In addition, FMCSA’s SMS Effectiveness Test (ET) results show that lowering the Intervention Threshold for the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC will help identify more carriers with higher correlations to crash rate.2 Carriers at or above the current threshold for this BASIC have a crash rate of 5.78 crashes per 100 PUs. Lowering the threshold for this BASIC to 75% will include those carriers, as well as a new set of carriers with a crash rate of 5.61 crashes per 100 PUs. Both of these crash rates are much higher than the national average of 3.43 crashes per 100 PUs. As for the anonymous commenter’s concern about the flatbed bias, the Agency examined this bias relating to Research Note. DOT HS 812 117). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2 The Carrier Safety Measurement System (CSMS) Effectiveness Test by Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs), January 2014, FMCSA, pg. 42. The full report is available at: http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/CSMS_ Effectiveness_Test_Final_Report.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00152 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 69187 cargo securement violations in the last set of methodology enhancements. To address this bias, the Agency replaced the Cargo-Related BASIC with the HM Compliance BASIC. More information on this enhancement is available in the notice for the previous methodology changes (77 FR 19298, March 27, 2012) and is also in docket FMCSA–2012– 0074. FMCSA values NTSB’s concern about the Agency’s resources; however, this change to the Intervention Thresholds will identify a similar number of carriers for interventions as the current SMS methodology. Interventions include warning letters, Notices of Claim, Notices of Violation, and investigations. FMCSA acknowledges the concerns raised by AAJ, Advocates, and the anonymous commenter about the serious risks associated with impaired driving due to use of controlled substances and alcohol. In response to these concerns, the Agency conducted additional analysis to determine the impact of removing the subset of carriers that would no longer be prioritized under the proposed threshold for the Controlled Substances/ Alcohol BASIC of 90%. Using the SMS ET, the Agency found that carriers with percentiles in the 80% to 90% range have a crash rate of 1.24 crashes per 100 PUs, which is about one third the crash rate of the national average of 3.43 crashes per 100 PUs. Based on these results, the Agency believes that there is no strong evidence to continue identifying this subset of carriers for interventions. Raising the Intervention Threshold for the Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASIC will help to focus the Agency’s resources on those carriers with the greatest safety risk. However, the Agency will continue to assess this BASIC and review comments and supplemental data to determine the best path forward. Based on IME’s request for clarification, the Agency notes that if the proposed enhancements to the BASIC Intervention Thresholds are implemented, they will also impact the amendment to the HMSP program’s enforcement policy that became effective August 18, 2015 (80 FR 35253, June 19, 2015). Carriers are prioritized for these investigations if they are at or above the Intervention Thresholds for the HM Compliance BASIC or any other two BASICs over a consecutive twomonth period. Under this proposed enhancement, carriers will be E:\FR\FM\05OCN1.SGM 05OCN1 69188 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 193 / Wednesday, October 5, 2016 / Notices prioritized based on the proposed thresholds outlined in Table 1 below. TABLE 1—COMPARISON OF CURRENT AND PROPOSED INTERVENTION THRESHOLDS Current Intervention Thresholds BASIC Passenger carrier (%) Unsafe Driving, Crash Indicator, Hoursof-Service (HOS) Compliance .............. Vehicle Maintenance ................................ Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Driver Fitness .................................................. HM Compliance ....................................... asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Jkt 241001 Passenger carrier (%) HM carrier (%) General carrier (%) 60 75 65 80 50 60 60 70 65 75 65 N/A a. Segmenting the HM Compliance BASIC by CT and non-CT carriers; and b. Releasing motor carrier percentile rankings under the HM Compliance BASIC to the public. David Vargyas, Con-way Freight, and ATA supported the segmentation of CT and non-CT carriers. ATA noted that ‘‘Under the current methodology, nonCT carriers often have higher scores not because they are less safe, but because they have a greater potential for HM compliance violations than CT carriers.’’ ATA noted that the preview period will allow motor carriers to see how this proposed change will actually impact them. In addition, several commenters requested additional information on how CT and non-CT segments are defined. Advocates requested that the Agency provide analysis to support its claim that this change will improve the HM Compliance BASIC’s ability to prioritize carriers with HM compliance problems for interventions. Con-way Freight did not support making the HM Compliance BASIC publically available, noting that ‘‘The root cause of the release can often be attributed to a violation in another BASIC, such as Unsafe Driving, which has a more significant correlation to crash risk.’’ IME also opposed making the HM Compliance BASIC percentiles available to the public. However, IME did not provide any new data to support this position. FedEx stated that ‘‘there other existing flaws with the HM Compliance BASIC that make the BASIC less than accurate and which result in biases favoring certain motor carriers over others.’’ ATA ‘‘strenuously objects’’ to making the BASIC publically available and noted that ‘‘scores in this category are a reflection of compliance with HM regulations, many of them relating to paperwork and placarding, not individual motor carrier crash risk.’’ 18:15 Oct 04, 2016 General carrier (%) 50 65 2. Two Changes to the HM Compliance BASIC VerDate Sep<11>2014 HM carrier (%) Proposed Intervention Thresholds 75 80 80 N/A 75 N/A 85 90 90 N/A AAJ supported making the HM Compliance BASIC percentiles publically available, noting that ‘‘keeping this information accessible to the motor carrier industry, consumers, and other safety stakeholders will not only continue to assist people seeking to work with safe carriers, but will help keep carriers with high crash risks off of the road.’’ FMCSA Response The Foundational Document provides additional information on how CT and non-CT segments are defined. It also includes detailed analysis on this proposed enhancement and its safety impact and can be found at: https:// csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/SMSPreview-Foundational-Document.pdf. The preview will reflect segmentation within the HM Compliance BASIC by CT and non-CT carriers and is only available to carriers and enforcement personnel, not the public. The Agency will consider the feedback on this issue and will ensure that the display of the HM Compliance BASIC is in accordance with the FAST Act requirements. 3. Reclassifying Violations for Operating While OOS Under the Unsafe Driving BASIC Rather Than the BASIC of the Underlying OOS Violation Commenters including IME, ATA, Schneider, and ABA approved of moving operating while OOS violations to the Unsafe Driving BASIC. These stakeholders maintained that this change will more accurately reflect the role that unsafe driving behavior plays in the violation of an OOS Order. However, ATA noted that FMCSA’s notice indicated that adding these violations to the Unsafe Driving BASIC did not change the average crash rate. Therefore, ATA concluded that this change did not improve the BASIC’s ability to identify unsafe carriers. Advocates also expressed tentative agreement, noting that the Agency PO 00000 Frm 00153 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 provided no data or evidence illustrating the impact on the Unsafe Driving and other BASICs. FMCSA Response FMCSA acknowledges that moving OOS violations to the Unsafe Driving BASIC will have minimal impact on this BASIC’s ability to identify carriers for interventions. However, the Agency believes that consolidating these violations in one BASIC will help motor carriers and enforcement more effectively identify and correct safety problems related to the violation of an OOS Order. FMCSA proposes that this change be implemented retroactively, i.e., any such violations from the past 24 months on a carrier’s SMS profile will be moved into the Unsafe Driving BASIC, unless comments during the preview period present evidence to change the Agency’s position. 4. Increasing the Maximum VMT Used in the Utilization Factor To More Accurately Reflect the Operations of High-Utilization Carriers Comments in support of expanding the range over which the Utilization Factor applied from 200,000 to 250,000 VMT per average PU were submitted by John Whisnant, ATA, NMFTA, Schneider, NPGA, and ABA. NMFTA noted that ‘‘The increase should improve the correlation between the Unsafe Driving and Crash Indicator percentiles and actual crash risk for these very high utilization-carriers.’’ Advocates tentatively supported this change but requested that the Agency provide more data. OOIDA pointed out that this enhancement helps large carriers the most and that such enhancements are unavailable to small carriers. Werner felt the notice ‘‘lack[ed] explanation and data to support the statement, ‘industry stakeholders noted that the current Utilization Factor is not accurate for E:\FR\FM\05OCN1.SGM 05OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 193 / Wednesday, October 5, 2016 / Notices some companies with extremely high utilization’ ’’ and felt more information was needed to comment on this proposal. FMCSA Response In regard to OOIDA’s concern, this proposed enhancement to the Utilization Factor will benefit all highutilization carriers regardless of their size, as the Utilization Factor is based on the VMT to average PU ratio, not the number of PUs. This approach allows the SMS to account for carriers of different sizes and hold them to a similar standard. As a result, large carriers and small carriers with high VMT per average PU ratios can receive adjustments that reflect their increased exposure. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES IV. Additional Enhancements In addition to the proposed enhancements outlined above, FMCSA proposes two additional changes based on issues identified and analysis conducted during the development of the preview. Detailed analysis on these changes is available in the Foundational Document at: https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/ Documents/SMS-Preview-FoundationalDocument.pdf. Carriers and other interested stakeholders can review these changes during the preview and provide any additional comments or analysis for the Agency to consider in its final decision. 1. Data Sufficiency Standards for the Crash Indicator BASIC In response to comments received to the Federal Register Notice of January 23, 2015, which announced the results of FMCSA’s study on the feasibility of using a motor carrier’s role in crashes in the assessment of the company’s safety (80 FR 3719), the Agency conducted additional analyses. One of the areas reconsidered was the minimum number of crashes used to establish the data sufficiency standard in the Crash Indicator BASIC. Currently, the Agency assigns a percentile to carriers in the Crash Indicator BASIC if they have at least two reportable crashes in the last two years. The Agency proposes increasing the minimum number of crashes required for a percentile from two to three. According to the analysis conducted by FMCSA, the overall crash rate of the Crash Indicator BASIC remains about the same as the current Crash Indicator BASIC (6.33 vs. 6.34 crashes per 100 PUs). While the number of crashes covered under this scenario is lower than the number of crashes for the current Crash Indicator BASIC (14,838 vs. 15,638 crashes) the results suggest that the proposed change identifies a VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Oct 04, 2016 Jkt 241001 similar group of carriers with high crash rates as the current Crash Indicator BASIC. While this change does not substantively impact the effectiveness of the Crash Indicator BASIC, the greater data sufficiency standard of this BASIC would yield greater confidence that this BASIC is identifying carriers with established patterns of crashes thereby enabling the Agency to further focus its investigative resources on carriers with more crash involvement. 2. Carriers With Recent Violations Currently, FMCSA assigns percentiles to carriers in the HOS Compliance, Vehicle Maintenance, HM Compliance, and Driver Fitness BASICs if they meet the following criteria: The most recent inspection in the previous 24 months resulted in a violation. Recently, FMCSA reviewed its data sufficiency standards to make them more effective at prioritizing carriers that pose the greatest safety risk. Based on this assessment, the Agency proposes assigning BASIC percentiles only to carriers that have had an inspection with a violation in the past year. This change will increase the Agency’s focus on carriers with recent violations and remove carriers with no violations in the past year from prioritization. This change will reduce the number of carriers with a BASIC at or above the Intervention Threshold. Based on recent SMS results, 1,243 carriers will no longer have a BASIC at or above the threshold as a result of this change. After analyzing this subset of carriers using the SMS ET, the Agency found that these carriers have a crash rate that is 4.8 times lower than the national average (0.71 compared to the national average of 3.43 crashes per 100 PUs). Therefore, removing these carriers from prioritization will allow the Agency to focus its intervention efforts on a set of carriers with a much higher crash rate of 5.20 crashes per 100 PUs. V. Preview of Proposed SMS Enhancements The preview will be available October 4, 2016, on the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) Web site at: https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMSPreview/. Motor carriers will be able to log in through the CSA Web site or the Portal to see how the proposed enhancements may impact their SMS results. The public will also be able to view the enhancements using example carriers. To support the preview, FMCSA will hold a series of Q&A sessions for the industry and the public, where participants will be able to ask questions about the proposed changes and receive real-time responses. Before PO 00000 Frm 00154 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 69189 the Q&A sessions, participants can view a video presentation outlining the proposed enhancements and how to use the preview site and review slides and a transcript of that presentation. All of these reference materials are available in the SMS Preview Help Center at: https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMSPreview/ HelpCenter/Index.aspx. Each session will end once all questions have been answered. All sessions will have closed captioning. The sessions are scheduled for the following dates and times: 1. Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 10:00– 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) 2. Thursday, October 13, 2016, 2:00– 3:30 p.m. ET 3. Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 3:00–4:30 p.m. ET 4. Thursday, October 20, 2016, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. ET FMCSA encourages all stakeholders to participate in these Q&A sessions and submit questions ahead of time via the CSA Feedback form at: https:// csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/CSA_feedback.aspx? defaulttag=SMSPREVIEWQA. Interested parties should register for one of these sessions through FMCSA’s National Training Center at: https:// connectdotcqpub1.connect solutions.com/content/connect/c1/7/en/ events/catalog.html?folder-id=11242338 86. VI. Request for Comments FMCSA requests additional comments on the proposed SMS enhancements outlined above. Commenters are requested to provide supporting data wherever appropriate. Issued on: September 30, 2016. T.F. Scott Darling, III, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2016–24114 Filed 10–4–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration Meeting Notice—U.S. Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice of advisory committee public meeting. AGENCY: The Maritime Administration (MARAD) announces a public meeting of the U.S. Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee (MTSNAC) to discuss advice and recommendations for the U.S. Department of Transportation on issues related to the maritime transportation SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\05OCN1.SGM 05OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 193 (Wednesday, October 5, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 69185-69189]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-24114]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0149]


Future Enhancements to the Safety Measurement System (SMS)

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), U.S. 
Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT).

ACTION: Notice; response to public comments; request for public 
comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA proposes enhancements to information on the public 
Safety Measurement System (SMS) Web site and responds to comments 
received in response to FMCSA's Federal Register Notice, ``Proposal for 
Future Enhancements to the Motor Carrier Safety Measurement System 
(SMS),'' published on June 29, 2015. These enhancements are a 
continuation of the Agency's efforts to provide law enforcement, the 
motor carrier industry, and motor carriers with more informative safety 
data. This notice explains the Agency's proposed enhancements to the 
public SMS Web site, including two additional changes not originally 
proposed, which were identified during the development of the SMS 
Preview. FMCSA has provided information about the proposed enhancements 
to the National Academies of Sciences to consider in the Correlation 
Study required by Section 5221 of the Fixing America's Surface 
Transportation (FAST) Act. The proposed enhancements will be available 
for preview, at: https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMSPreview/ on October 4, 
2016. The Agency seeks comments on these changes based on the preview. 
The Agency will not implement the changes until after the Agency 
satisfies the requirements of Section 5223 of the FAST Act.

DATES: Comments must be received by December 3, 2016. Question and 
answer (Q&A) sessions for the public and industry are scheduled for the 
following dates and times:

1. Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET)
2. Thursday, October 13, 2016, 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
3. Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET
4. Thursday, October 20, 2016, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET

    For more information on these sessions, see Section V.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System Docket ID (FMCSA-2015-0149) using any of the 
following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
    Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590.
    Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number 
for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without 
change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12-140 
on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The online Federal document

[[Page 69186]]

management system is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. 
If you want acknowledgment that the Agency received your comments, 
please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print 
the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments online.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information 
the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the 
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning this 
notice, contact Mr. David Yessen, Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, 
telephone 609-275-2606 or by email at david.yessen@dot.gov. If you have 
questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact 
Docket Services at 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and 
related materials.

A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice (FMCSA-2015-0149), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each 
suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material 
online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of 
these methods. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a 
mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of 
your document so that the Agency can contact you if it has questions 
regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
put the docket number, ``FMCSA-2015-0149'' in the ``Keyword'' box, and 
click ``Search.'' When the new screen appears, click on the ``Comment 
Now!''' button and type your comment into the text box in the following 
screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual 
or on behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your 
comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no 
larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic 
filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they 
reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard 
or envelope.
    FMCSA will consider all comments and materials received during the 
comment period and may change the approach discussed in this notice 
based on your comments.

B. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
insert the docket number, ``FMCSA-2015-0149'' in the ``Keyword'' box 
and click ``Search.'' Next, click the ``Open Docket Folder'' button and 
choose the document listed to review. If you do not have access to the 
internet, you may view the docket by visiting the Docket Management 
Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

II. Background

    On June 29, 2015 (80 FR 37037), FMCSA proposed the following SMS 
enhancements and requested initial comments on them in advance of 
providing motor carriers to preview how their safety performance data 
would be presented on the SMS Web site.
    1. Changing some of the SMS Intervention Thresholds to better 
reflect the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories' 
(BASICs) correlation to crash risk.
    2. Two changes to the Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance BASIC:
    a. Segmenting the HM Compliance BASIC by Cargo Tank (CT) and non-CT 
carriers; and
    b. Releasing motor carrier percentile rankings under the HM 
Compliance BASIC to the public.
    3. Reclassifying violations for operating while Out of Service 
(OOS) under the Unsafe Driving BASIC rather than the BASIC of the 
underlying OOS violation.
    4. Increasing the maximum Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) used in the 
Utilization Factor to more accurately reflect the operations of high-
utilization carriers.
    The Agency's analysis and explanations were provided in the June 
29, 2015 notice. Stakeholders had 30 days to submit comments. The 
comment period ended on July 29, 2015.
    After receiving and analyzing the comments in response to this 
preview, FMCSA will provide the results to the National Academies of 
Sciences to consider during the Correlation Study required by Sections 
5221 and 5223 of the FAST Act, related to SMS and public display. The 
study required by Section 5221 is required to be within 18 months of 
the enactment of the Act.

III. Summary of Public Comments and Response

    FMCSA received 50 docket comments in response to the June 29, 2015 
notice. However, only 30 of the submissions contained comments 
specifically on the changes proposed in that notice. The commenters 
included motor carriers, drivers, industry associations, and safety 
advocates. Relevant input and feedback were received from the Advocates 
for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), American Association for 
Justice (AAJ), American Bus Association (ABA), American Trucking 
Associations, Inc. (ATA), Con-way Freight, FedEx Corporation (FedEx), 
Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME), National Motor Freight Traffic 
Association, Inc. (NMFTA), National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), 
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Owner-Operator Independent 
Drivers Association (OOIDA), Schneider National, Inc. (Schneider), 
Snack Food Association (SFA), Transportation Intermediaries Association 
(TIA), Werner Enterprises, Inc. (Werner), YRC Worldwide Inc., and 
individuals who did not identify their organizations. Many stakeholders 
provided comments on multiple proposed enhancements and topics. 
Comments outside the scope of the June proposal are not discussed in 
this notice.
    In addition, many stakeholders requested additional analysis on the 
proposed enhancements to better inform their comments. Detailed 
analysis on the proposed enhancements from the June notice, as well as 
the additional enhancements proposed in this notice, are available in 
the Foundational Document at: https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/SMS-Preview-Foundational-Document.pdf.
    Below is a summary of the comments received that address the 
proposed changes and the Agency's responses:
1. Changing Some of the SMS Intervention Thresholds To Better Reflect 
the BASICs' Correlation To Crash Risk
    Arleen Wells commented that the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC 
Intervention Threshold should not go higher, but raising the percentage 
for the Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASIC Intervention Threshold was 
an

[[Page 69187]]

``excellent idea.'' George Hopkins felt that changing the Vehicle 
Maintenance threshold is not productive, as many of the violations are 
``not going to result in a crash.'' Another anonymous commenter 
expressed concern that the proposed Vehicle Maintenance BASIC 
Intervention Threshold change would hurt flatbed carriers.
    OOIDA questioned the Agency's logic for the Vehicle Maintenance 
Intervention Threshold pointing out that ``The inclusion of an 
additional 5% of motor carriers with lower Vehicle BASIC scores causes 
the average number of accidents per power unit above the new threshold 
to increase 7%. These numbers more than illustrate the randomness and 
ineffectiveness of FMCSA's reliance on correlation rather than 
causation.''
    However, Con-way Freight supported the adjustments to the BASIC 
Intervention Thresholds to better prioritize carriers. SFA 
``commend[ed] the Agency for taking these preliminary moves to more 
closely correlate its enforcement interventions to actual crash risk.'' 
ATA, TIA, and Schneider supported adjusting the SMS Intervention 
Thresholds. TIA ``applaud[ed] the proposed enhancements to the Safety 
Measurement System (SMS), specifically, better adjusting some of the 
SMS interventions.'' ATA recommended that the Agency adjust the 
thresholds further to yield even better results. NTSB voiced concern 
about whether the Agency has sufficient resources to reach the 41,000 
carriers that will be at or above the proposed Intervention Thresholds.
    Regarding the Controlled Substances/Alcohol Intervention Threshold 
change, an anonymous commenter advised, ``I am saddened by the proposal 
to raise the threshold for controlled substances. I believe that it 
sends the wrong message to the public and reflects poorly on the 
industry.'' AAJ requested that the Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASIC 
remain unchanged, emphasizing that the change ``ignores the real and 
serious risks of impaired driving.'' AAJ cited a recent National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Drug and Alcohol Crash 
Risk Study, which found that drivers with an alcohol level of 0.08% 
were four times more likely to crash than sober drivers and that 
marijuana users were about 25% more likely to be involved in a crash 
than drivers with no evidence of marijuana use.\1\ Advocates did not 
support the proposed change to the Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASIC 
pointing out that ``Raising the intervention levels to 90% would then 
only identify the bottom 10% of carriers, even though all carriers 
above the 50th percentile are below average.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Compton, R.P. & Berning, A. (2015, February). Drug and 
alcohol crash risk. (Traffic Safety Facts Research Note. DOT HS 812 
117). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FMCSA issued an amendment to the enforcement policy for its 
Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMSP) program prior to the release 
of the June notice on the proposed SMS enhancements. This amendment 
uses the SMS results under the current Intervention Thresholds to 
monitor carriers that have non-temporary HMSPs and prioritize them for 
investigations focused on HM compliance. IME requested that the Agency 
clarify whether the proposed Intervention Thresholds will replace the 
current thresholds outlined in this amendment.
FMCSA Response
    FMCSA disagrees with OOIDA's assertion that the change to the 
Vehicle Maintenance BASIC Intervention Threshold does not have a 
correlation to crash risk. The baseline crash rate of 5.12 crashes per 
100 Power Units (PUs) is not limited to the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC. 
Rather, it applies to any of the seven BASICs that are at or above the 
current Intervention Thresholds. Therefore, the 7% increase in crash 
rate includes lowering the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC threshold from 80% 
to 75%, as well as raising the Intervention Thresholds for the Driver 
Fitness, HM Compliance, and Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASICs from 
80% to 90%. In addition, FMCSA's SMS Effectiveness Test (ET) results 
show that lowering the Intervention Threshold for the Vehicle 
Maintenance BASIC will help identify more carriers with higher 
correlations to crash rate.\2\ Carriers at or above the current 
threshold for this BASIC have a crash rate of 5.78 crashes per 100 PUs. 
Lowering the threshold for this BASIC to 75% will include those 
carriers, as well as a new set of carriers with a crash rate of 5.61 
crashes per 100 PUs. Both of these crash rates are much higher than the 
national average of 3.43 crashes per 100 PUs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The Carrier Safety Measurement System (CSMS) Effectiveness 
Test by Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories 
(BASICs), January 2014, FMCSA, pg. 42. The full report is available 
at: http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/CSMS_Effectiveness_Test_Final_Report.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As for the anonymous commenter's concern about the flatbed bias, 
the Agency examined this bias relating to cargo securement violations 
in the last set of methodology enhancements. To address this bias, the 
Agency replaced the Cargo-Related BASIC with the HM Compliance BASIC. 
More information on this enhancement is available in the notice for the 
previous methodology changes (77 FR 19298, March 27, 2012) and is also 
in docket FMCSA-2012-0074.
    FMCSA values NTSB's concern about the Agency's resources; however, 
this change to the Intervention Thresholds will identify a similar 
number of carriers for interventions as the current SMS methodology. 
Interventions include warning letters, Notices of Claim, Notices of 
Violation, and investigations.
    FMCSA acknowledges the concerns raised by AAJ, Advocates, and the 
anonymous commenter about the serious risks associated with impaired 
driving due to use of controlled substances and alcohol. In response to 
these concerns, the Agency conducted additional analysis to determine 
the impact of removing the subset of carriers that would no longer be 
prioritized under the proposed threshold for the Controlled Substances/
Alcohol BASIC of 90%. Using the SMS ET, the Agency found that carriers 
with percentiles in the 80% to 90% range have a crash rate of 1.24 
crashes per 100 PUs, which is about one third the crash rate of the 
national average of 3.43 crashes per 100 PUs. Based on these results, 
the Agency believes that there is no strong evidence to continue 
identifying this subset of carriers for interventions. Raising the 
Intervention Threshold for the Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASIC will 
help to focus the Agency's resources on those carriers with the 
greatest safety risk. However, the Agency will continue to assess this 
BASIC and review comments and supplemental data to determine the best 
path forward.
    Based on IME's request for clarification, the Agency notes that if 
the proposed enhancements to the BASIC Intervention Thresholds are 
implemented, they will also impact the amendment to the HMSP program's 
enforcement policy that became effective August 18, 2015 (80 FR 35253, 
June 19, 2015). Carriers are prioritized for these investigations if 
they are at or above the Intervention Thresholds for the HM Compliance 
BASIC or any other two BASICs over a consecutive two-month period. 
Under this proposed enhancement, carriers will be

[[Page 69188]]

prioritized based on the proposed thresholds outlined in Table 1 below.

                                           Table 1--Comparison of Current and Proposed Intervention Thresholds
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Current Intervention Thresholds                Proposed Intervention Thresholds
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          BASIC                              Passenger                        General        Passenger                        General
                                                            carrier (%)   HM carrier (%)    carrier (%)     carrier (%)   HM carrier (%)    carrier (%)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unsafe Driving, Crash Indicator, Hours-of-Service (HOS)               50              60              65              50              60              65
 Compliance.............................................
Vehicle Maintenance.....................................              65              75              80              60              70              75
Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Driver Fitness...........              65              75              80              75              85              90
HM Compliance...........................................             N/A              80             N/A             N/A              90             N/A
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Two Changes to the HM Compliance BASIC
    a. Segmenting the HM Compliance BASIC by CT and non-CT carriers; 
and
    b. Releasing motor carrier percentile rankings under the HM 
Compliance BASIC to the public.
    David Vargyas, Con-way Freight, and ATA supported the segmentation 
of CT and non-CT carriers. ATA noted that ``Under the current 
methodology, non-CT carriers often have higher scores not because they 
are less safe, but because they have a greater potential for HM 
compliance violations than CT carriers.'' ATA noted that the preview 
period will allow motor carriers to see how this proposed change will 
actually impact them. In addition, several commenters requested 
additional information on how CT and non-CT segments are defined. 
Advocates requested that the Agency provide analysis to support its 
claim that this change will improve the HM Compliance BASIC's ability 
to prioritize carriers with HM compliance problems for interventions.
    Con-way Freight did not support making the HM Compliance BASIC 
publically available, noting that ``The root cause of the release can 
often be attributed to a violation in another BASIC, such as Unsafe 
Driving, which has a more significant correlation to crash risk.'' IME 
also opposed making the HM Compliance BASIC percentiles available to 
the public. However, IME did not provide any new data to support this 
position. FedEx stated that ``there other existing flaws with the HM 
Compliance BASIC that make the BASIC less than accurate and which 
result in biases favoring certain motor carriers over others.'' ATA 
``strenuously objects'' to making the BASIC publically available and 
noted that ``scores in this category are a reflection of compliance 
with HM regulations, many of them relating to paperwork and placarding, 
not individual motor carrier crash risk.''
    AAJ supported making the HM Compliance BASIC percentiles publically 
available, noting that ``keeping this information accessible to the 
motor carrier industry, consumers, and other safety stakeholders will 
not only continue to assist people seeking to work with safe carriers, 
but will help keep carriers with high crash risks off of the road.''
FMCSA Response
    The Foundational Document provides additional information on how CT 
and non-CT segments are defined. It also includes detailed analysis on 
this proposed enhancement and its safety impact and can be found at: 
https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/SMS-Preview-Foundational-Document.pdf.
    The preview will reflect segmentation within the HM Compliance 
BASIC by CT and non-CT carriers and is only available to carriers and 
enforcement personnel, not the public. The Agency will consider the 
feedback on this issue and will ensure that the display of the HM 
Compliance BASIC is in accordance with the FAST Act requirements.
3. Reclassifying Violations for Operating While OOS Under the Unsafe 
Driving BASIC Rather Than the BASIC of the Underlying OOS Violation
    Commenters including IME, ATA, Schneider, and ABA approved of 
moving operating while OOS violations to the Unsafe Driving BASIC. 
These stakeholders maintained that this change will more accurately 
reflect the role that unsafe driving behavior plays in the violation of 
an OOS Order. However, ATA noted that FMCSA's notice indicated that 
adding these violations to the Unsafe Driving BASIC did not change the 
average crash rate. Therefore, ATA concluded that this change did not 
improve the BASIC's ability to identify unsafe carriers. Advocates also 
expressed tentative agreement, noting that the Agency provided no data 
or evidence illustrating the impact on the Unsafe Driving and other 
BASICs.
FMCSA Response
    FMCSA acknowledges that moving OOS violations to the Unsafe Driving 
BASIC will have minimal impact on this BASIC's ability to identify 
carriers for interventions. However, the Agency believes that 
consolidating these violations in one BASIC will help motor carriers 
and enforcement more effectively identify and correct safety problems 
related to the violation of an OOS Order.
    FMCSA proposes that this change be implemented retroactively, i.e., 
any such violations from the past 24 months on a carrier's SMS profile 
will be moved into the Unsafe Driving BASIC, unless comments during the 
preview period present evidence to change the Agency's position.
4. Increasing the Maximum VMT Used in the Utilization Factor To More 
Accurately Reflect the Operations of High-Utilization Carriers
    Comments in support of expanding the range over which the 
Utilization Factor applied from 200,000 to 250,000 VMT per average PU 
were submitted by John Whisnant, ATA, NMFTA, Schneider, NPGA, and ABA. 
NMFTA noted that ``The increase should improve the correlation between 
the Unsafe Driving and Crash Indicator percentiles and actual crash 
risk for these very high utilization-carriers.'' Advocates tentatively 
supported this change but requested that the Agency provide more data.
    OOIDA pointed out that this enhancement helps large carriers the 
most and that such enhancements are unavailable to small carriers. 
Werner felt the notice ``lack[ed] explanation and data to support the 
statement, `industry stakeholders noted that the current Utilization 
Factor is not accurate for

[[Page 69189]]

some companies with extremely high utilization' '' and felt more 
information was needed to comment on this proposal.
FMCSA Response
    In regard to OOIDA's concern, this proposed enhancement to the 
Utilization Factor will benefit all high-utilization carriers 
regardless of their size, as the Utilization Factor is based on the VMT 
to average PU ratio, not the number of PUs. This approach allows the 
SMS to account for carriers of different sizes and hold them to a 
similar standard. As a result, large carriers and small carriers with 
high VMT per average PU ratios can receive adjustments that reflect 
their increased exposure.

IV. Additional Enhancements

    In addition to the proposed enhancements outlined above, FMCSA 
proposes two additional changes based on issues identified and analysis 
conducted during the development of the preview. Detailed analysis on 
these changes is available in the Foundational Document at: https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/SMS-Preview-Foundational-Document.pdf. 
Carriers and other interested stakeholders can review these changes 
during the preview and provide any additional comments or analysis for 
the Agency to consider in its final decision.

1. Data Sufficiency Standards for the Crash Indicator BASIC

    In response to comments received to the Federal Register Notice of 
January 23, 2015, which announced the results of FMCSA's study on the 
feasibility of using a motor carrier's role in crashes in the 
assessment of the company's safety (80 FR 3719), the Agency conducted 
additional analyses. One of the areas reconsidered was the minimum 
number of crashes used to establish the data sufficiency standard in 
the Crash Indicator BASIC. Currently, the Agency assigns a percentile 
to carriers in the Crash Indicator BASIC if they have at least two 
reportable crashes in the last two years. The Agency proposes 
increasing the minimum number of crashes required for a percentile from 
two to three. According to the analysis conducted by FMCSA, the overall 
crash rate of the Crash Indicator BASIC remains about the same as the 
current Crash Indicator BASIC (6.33 vs. 6.34 crashes per 100 PUs). 
While the number of crashes covered under this scenario is lower than 
the number of crashes for the current Crash Indicator BASIC (14,838 vs. 
15,638 crashes) the results suggest that the proposed change identifies 
a similar group of carriers with high crash rates as the current Crash 
Indicator BASIC. While this change does not substantively impact the 
effectiveness of the Crash Indicator BASIC, the greater data 
sufficiency standard of this BASIC would yield greater confidence that 
this BASIC is identifying carriers with established patterns of crashes 
thereby enabling the Agency to further focus its investigative 
resources on carriers with more crash involvement.

2. Carriers With Recent Violations

    Currently, FMCSA assigns percentiles to carriers in the HOS 
Compliance, Vehicle Maintenance, HM Compliance, and Driver Fitness 
BASICs if they meet the following criteria: The most recent inspection 
in the previous 24 months resulted in a violation. Recently, FMCSA 
reviewed its data sufficiency standards to make them more effective at 
prioritizing carriers that pose the greatest safety risk. Based on this 
assessment, the Agency proposes assigning BASIC percentiles only to 
carriers that have had an inspection with a violation in the past year. 
This change will increase the Agency's focus on carriers with recent 
violations and remove carriers with no violations in the past year from 
prioritization.
    This change will reduce the number of carriers with a BASIC at or 
above the Intervention Threshold. Based on recent SMS results, 1,243 
carriers will no longer have a BASIC at or above the threshold as a 
result of this change. After analyzing this subset of carriers using 
the SMS ET, the Agency found that these carriers have a crash rate that 
is 4.8 times lower than the national average (0.71 compared to the 
national average of 3.43 crashes per 100 PUs). Therefore, removing 
these carriers from prioritization will allow the Agency to focus its 
intervention efforts on a set of carriers with a much higher crash rate 
of 5.20 crashes per 100 PUs.

V. Preview of Proposed SMS Enhancements

    The preview will be available October 4, 2016, on the Compliance 
Safety Accountability (CSA) Web site at: https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMSPreview/. Motor carriers will be able to log in through the CSA Web 
site or the Portal to see how the proposed enhancements may impact 
their SMS results. The public will also be able to view the 
enhancements using example carriers. To support the preview, FMCSA will 
hold a series of Q&A sessions for the industry and the public, where 
participants will be able to ask questions about the proposed changes 
and receive real-time responses. Before the Q&A sessions, participants 
can view a video presentation outlining the proposed enhancements and 
how to use the preview site and review slides and a transcript of that 
presentation. All of these reference materials are available in the SMS 
Preview Help Center at: https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMSPreview/HelpCenter/Index.aspx. Each session will end once all questions have 
been answered. All sessions will have closed captioning. The sessions 
are scheduled for the following dates and times:

1. Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET)
2. Thursday, October 13, 2016, 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
3. Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET
4. Thursday, October 20, 2016, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET

    FMCSA encourages all stakeholders to participate in these Q&A 
sessions and submit questions ahead of time via the CSA Feedback form 
at: https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/CSA_feedback.aspx?defaulttag=SMSPREVIEWQA. Interested parties should 
register for one of these sessions through FMCSA's National Training 
Center at: https://connectdotcqpub1.connectsolutions.com/content/connect/c1/7/en/events/catalog.html?folder-id=1124233886.

VI. Request for Comments

    FMCSA requests additional comments on the proposed SMS enhancements 
outlined above. Commenters are requested to provide supporting data 
wherever appropriate.

    Issued on: September 30, 2016.
T.F. Scott Darling, III,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2016-24114 Filed 10-4-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P