Proposal for Future Enhancements to the Safety Measurement System (SMS)
FMCSA provides notice and seeks comments on proposed enhancements to the Agency's Safety Measurement System (SMS) methodology. Consistent with its prior announcements, the Agency is proposing changes to the SMS that are the direct result of feedback from stakeholders and the Agency's ongoing continuous improvement efforts. The Agency is considering several changes in this notice and is asking for comment on these issues, and other possible areas for consideration. This set of enhancements would include changing some of the SMS Intervention Thresholds to better reflect the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories' (BASICs) correlation to crash risk, other changes to the Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance BASIC, reclassifying violations for operating while out-of-service (OOS) to the Unsafe Driving BASIC, and adjustments to the Utilization Factor (UF). FMCSA will provide a preview of the proposed enhancements allowing motor carriers to see their own data, enforcement to see the data, and an opportunity for all to comment prior to implementation.
State Compliance With Commercial Driver's License Program: Correction
FMCSA corrects its regulations implementing certain provisions of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). FMCSA determined that an error was made in the publication of the October 1, 2013, MAP-21 Implementation final rule. That rule inadvertently deleted paragraph (c) of Sec. 384.209, Notification of traffic violations. This final rule is necessary to address the inadvertent error made to the state compliance regulations.
Hours of Service of Drivers; Renewal and Expansion of American Pyrotechnics Association Exemption From the 14-Hour Rule During Independence Day Celebrations
FMCSA announces the granting of an exemption for 51 member- companies of the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) from FMCSA's regulation prohibiting drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) from driving after the 14th hour after coming on duty. FMCSA renews the exemption for 46 APA member companies and grants 5 additional carriers coverage under the exemption, which is effective from June 28-July 8, 2015, and June 28- July 8, 2016, inclusive. The original application covered 55 carriers, but FMCSA has declined to exempt 3 of them, and 1 carrier is out of business, leaving 51 approved carriers. Drivers who operate these CMVs in conjunction with staging fireworks shows celebrating Independence Day will be allowed to exclude off-duty and sleeper-berth time of any length from the calculation of the 14-hour driving window otherwise applicable. These drivers remain subject to the 60- and 70-hour limits; they may also drive no more than 11 hours in the 14-hour period after coming on duty, as extended by any off-duty or sleeper-berth time in accordance with this exception. FMCSA believes that the terms and conditions of the exemption will likely enable APA member motor carriers to maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by complying with the regulation.
National Implementation of the New Entrant Safety Assurance Program's Off-Site Safety Audit Procedures
FMCSA announces the completion of its New Entrant Safety Assurance Program Operational Test (Operational Test) and the beginning of the national implementation of the Off-site Safety Audit Procedures. The Off-site Safety Audit Procedures allow FMCSA, and its Motor Carrier Safety Assurance Program State partners (State Partners), to complete an off-site audit of an eligible new entrant motor carrier whereby the new entrant motor carrier can demonstrate basic safety management controls by submitting compliance documentation to a safety auditor via electronic mail (email), fax, or U.S. mail rather than being subject to an on-site safety audit. FMCSA, working with its respective State partners, conducted an 18-month Operational Test of the Off-Site Safety Audit Procedures on new entrant motor carriers domiciled in the following six States: Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, Montana, and New York; and the Canadian Provinces contiguous to Montana and New York. The Operational Test began July 15, 2013, and concluded on December 31, 2014. FMCSA will phase-in the implementation of the Off- site Safety Audit Procedures on new entrant motor carriers in other states beginning in the summer of 2015 and continuing over the course of 36 months.
Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision
FMCSA announces its denial of 115 applications from individuals who requested an exemption from the Federal vision standard applicable to interstate truck and bus drivers and the reasons for the denials. FMCSA has statutory authority to exempt individuals from the vision requirement if the exemptions granted will not compromise safety. The Agency has concluded that granting these exemptions does not provide a level of safety that will be equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety maintained without the exemptions for these commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.