Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
How Does FMCSA Regulate the Trucking Industry?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a branch of the United States Department of Transportation, is responsible for regulating the trucking industry in the country. The agency’s main goal is to balance the safety and efficiency of motor carrier companies through data-driven regulations. It uses safety information systems to identify high-risk carriers and enforce safety regulations, as well as educates carriers, drivers, and the public on safe practices. The FMCSA collaborates with stakeholders to reduce crashes involving large trucks and buses.
To achieve its mission, the FMCSA has implemented several safety programs, including the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. The CSA program identifies motor carriers with safety issues and takes necessary measures such as investigations and warning letters to ensure compliance.
The Safety Measurement System (SMS) is an online system that displays the safety data of FMCSA-regulated motor carriers. The system updates monthly, incorporating data from roadside inspections, crash reports from the last two years, and investigation results.
The Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) helps carriers make informed hiring decisions by providing them secure electronic access to a driver’s crash and inspection history from the FMCSA Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS).
The New Entrant Safety Assurance Program is designed for U.S. and Canada-based motor carriers that apply for a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) identification number to initiate operations in interstate commerce. New entrants are monitored for the first 18 months and must meet specific safety requirements, such as maintaining up-to-date records, conducting periodic inspections and maintenance on CMVs, and passing an FMCSA safety audit.