The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be testing a new automatic failure feature for new entrant audits and will be extending its testing of off-site new entrant audits until December.
The agency is set to announce both in a Federal Register notice scheduled for publication Sept. 9. The changes to its New Entrant Safety Assurance Program Operation Test will go into effect the same day.
The auto-fail functionality will be implemented via an update to its tech systems, FMCSA says, and it will automatically fail carriers during a new entrant safety audit if an automatic failure violation is discovered in documents submitted for the audit.
The off-site new entrant audit program began last July and was slated to last 12 months, but it is being pushed through December 2014 to allow the agency to collect more data on which to base any conclusions, it says.
FMCSA is required by law to conduct an on-site new entrant audit within 12 months of a carrier’s receipt of a DOT operating authority.
The agency says those on-site audits are expensive and inefficient, however. Performing the reviews off-site may be a better use of resources and allow the agency to better target higher-risk carriers, it says.