FMCSA: Tell us why you should be rewarded for your safety efforts

Agency to hold listening sessions to gauge industry's view on rewarding safety initiatives

You asked for it, now tell them. That’s the attitude of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which has scheduled two public listening sessions on the concept of voluntary compliance for safety technologies.

In a Federal Register announcement set to be published on Christmas Eve, FMCSA said it will hold two January sessions to “solicit information on the potential benefits and feasibility of voluntary compliance and ways to credit carriers and drivers who initiate and establish programs that promote safety beyond the standards established in FMCSA regulations.”

Read FMCSA notice: Potential Benefits and Feasibility of Voluntary Compliance

The first session will be held on Jan. 12, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., (local time), at the Kentucky International Convention Center, Room 108, 221 Fourth St., Louisville, KY. The Jan. 31, 2016, session will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center, Building C, 285 Andrew Young International Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA.

Congress mandated FMCSA study voluntary compliance in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the latest long-term highway bill signed into law this month.

FMCSA previously announced in April that it would explore the concept of voluntary compliance, otherwise known as beyond compliance. According to a Federal Register posting in April, “beyond compliance would include voluntary programs implemented by motor carriers that exceed regulatory requirements, and improve the safety of commercial motor vehicles and drivers operating on the nations’ roadways by reducing the number and severity of crashes.”

Many in the trucking industry strongly support the concept of voluntary compliance, which rewards companies that go beyond required safety basics.

In previously published comments, the American Trucking Assns. offered its support.

"ATA supports measures to incent, recognize and reward carriers that exceed minimum regulatory requirements and voluntarily adopt progressive tools and technologies,” said ATA spokesman Sean McNally. “The development of a ‘Gold Standard’ program, of sorts, would be a new and creative approach to improving truck safety.”

A 2011 American Transportation Research Institute report suggested possible benefits to fleets could include giving carriers credit on the BASIC scores or leeway on Inspection Selection System (ISS) values.

Comments from those who can be in attendance at one of the two sessions can also be included in the voluntary compliance docket (FMCSA-2015-0124) via:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: 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 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.

Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number. DOT posts all comments received, without change, to, including any personal information included in a comment.

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