FMCSA’s Five-Year Plan: Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is asking for public comment on the agency’s strategic plan for improving highway safety for the next five years

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is asking for public comment on the agency’s strategic plan for improving highway safety for the next five years. FMCSA said it’s 2011-2016 strategic plan will “raise the safety bar” and is shaped by three core principles.

Those principles are:

  • Raising the bar to enter the motor carrier industry
  • Maintaining high safety standards to remain in the industry
  • Removing high-risk carriers, drivers and service providers from operation.

Fleets have until July 29 to comment on the safety agency’s plan.

The new draft is only the agency's second strategic plan since its inception in 2000. It’s based on what the agency calls a “life-cycle approach” that will directly affect the trucking industry in all areas, including drivers, vehicles, infrastructure and operations.

“Individuals, organizations, agencies, and other entities that are part of the commercial vehicle transportation life-cycle need to be aware of their impact on safety and take responsibility for that impact,” FMCSA said.

The agency's goals and strategies developed under its new five-year plan are grouped into four strategic focus areas:

• Comprehensive safety programs that will affect fleet operations. “Recognize that, while safety is FMCSA's highest priority, the agency must also foster other important societal goals within the CMV transportation industry, including security, hazmat safety, consumer protection, and other DOT objectives,” FMCSA said.

• Establish new partnerships and develop policies and programs promoting opportunities to collaborate on commercial vehicle safety interventions.

• Improve standards and systems to identify collect, evaluate and disseminate real-time performance data. Leverage research and emerging technologies to positively impact commercial vehicle safety.

• Improve the strategic management of programs and human capital within FMCSA to build and sustain a diverse workforce and to develop innovative solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow in the commercial vehicle transportation industry.

FMCSA will consider all comments on the plan received by close of business on July 29, 2011. (Access to the docket to read background documents and comments received or to submit comments is available at www.regulations.gov.

In addition to the Federal Register notice for public comment, FMCSA has set up an IdeaScale Community on its main website. IdeaScale is a Department of Transportation initiative providing an interactive, on-line, transparent space for people to engage in conversation about draft proposals and vote if they agree or disagree, which also allows FMCSA to ask clarifying questions to make sure the best comments/ideas are considered.

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