As a whole, the logistics and distribution industry is eagerly awaiting the final form of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Safety Fitness Determination rule. And the latest news is that you’re going to have to wait a little while longer before any final decision is reached. The original notice of proposed rulemaking was issued January 21 and, at the time, called for a 60-comment period. That would have brought the comment period to a close at the end of this month.
That deadline is no longer relevant, however, as the FMCSA announced it had adjusted course and extended the comment period to May 23 for initial comments and June 23 for any reply comments. The extension provides more time for analysis of the proposal and will be welcomed by the numerous transportation and trucking groups that petitioned the FMCSA in early February for the extension.
Much of the discussion and opposition centers on the proposed rule for use of integrated road safety data. This data would be acquired through inspections, crash reports and carrier inspections, and it would be used to update the safety data and evaluate the overall safety fitness of a motor carrier. Critics of the proposal include members of Congress and trucking organizations, among others. In their rebuttal of the proposal they have openly questioned the rule’s legitimacy, particularly as it pertains to the highway bill provision prohibiting the FMCSA from sharing such scores with the public. The FMCSA maintains that the proposal does not violate existing bylaws. You can learn more about the proposal and how to submit your own comments on the issue by visiting Regulations.gov.
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