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FMCSA Withdrew Proposed Safety Rating Changes

Vehicle and carrier regulations are always facing changes, and this is especially true in 2017 due to political changes that are impacting how business in all sectors are being measured. One of the biggest considerations for carriers in the continually changing proposal of how safety fitness is determined. The previous administration had proposed a more binary standard for safety of 'unfit,' meaning a carrier had failed to adhere to road safety regulations and compliance, or a blank rating, which would imply compliance and safety. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration withdrew this proposed change, and carriers will probably have the same rating range from satisfactory to unsatisfactory as before.

What does this withdrawal mean for you?

  • It means consistent clarity for now. Not only does this mean carriers will continue to have clear ratings that clients usually use as a filter for selecting trucking carriers, it means there will probably not be a transitional overhaul where new ratings are imposed for a short time before being replaced with something even newer. Congress is requiring increased studies into CSA scores and crash safety, and a new rating system may be designed over the next year or two, but the proposed changes have been removed for now pending potential reorganization in the future.
  • It means the methodology behind the ratings may become fairer. Currently, the ratings for commercial vehicle drivers includes even crashes when the driver was not at fault. Congress's mandated study of the ranking methodology will look into this and potential other flaws in ranking to determine a better method of establishing and enforcing standards.

Regulations don't always change; sometimes they change back and forth as different regulatory parties try to make what they think are the best changes moving forward. Once the report is completed this summer, both Congress and the trucking industry will have a better idea of what future regulatory ratings will look like. If you want to know more about changes in the trucking industry, browse our site for news here.


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