FMCSA Publishes Strategic 5 Year Plan
by Apex Capital | August 8, 2012
In July 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published its 2012-2016 strategic plan.
After providing a brief history of the organization the plan outlines changes in the commercial motor vehicle industry over the years and a strategic plan for future change. Currently, The FMCSA regulates approximately 500,000 active interstate motor carriers, 12,000 passenger carriers, and 7 million active commercial CDLs. The total miles traveled by all commercial motor vehicles have grown over twelve percent in the past ten years.
What’s in the FMCSA Strategic 5 Year Plan?
The FMCSA is adamant about eliminating fraud in the CDL process and are focused on preventing the reincarnation of chameleon carriers. The recent increase in the broker bond was passed as a fraud prevention measure.
While the current satisfactory/conditional/unrated/unsatisfactory framework is being developed, FMCSA has recently issued a statement that, “a satisfactory safety rating does not mean that the carrier is currently in compliance and operating safely.” FMCSA “encourages the public to use the FMCSA information available to help make sound business judgments.” Even if the FMCSA has given a carrier a satisfactory safety rating, they don’t stand behind the carrier’s compliance or safe operation. If CSA/SMS Basic scores are regulated by FMCSA, this will expose brokers, shippers and consignees to liability.
This is problematic because this leaves shippers and brokers in the precarious position of lacking clear guidelines in an area that is federally governed. Either a carrier is in compliance, or it’s not. Currently, only 200,000 of the 525,000 active carriers even have one scored CSA/SMS Basic, leaving shippers and brokers without data to make decisions regarding the use of the 200,000 scored carriers or the 325,000 un-scored carriers.
While acknowledging that the quality of the data is currently a problem, FMCSA is determined to publicize more data. Qualifying and increasing the quality of the data should be a priority before broadening the scope of the data that’s available. FMCSA’s Basic CSA/SMS plan is concerning for shippers and brokers as well as carriers and is potentially damaging for the industry. The transportation industry should contact their representatives and demand FMCSA do its job of qualifying carriers to operate on the roads. Click here for the phone number to contact your representative today.