Safety Fitness Determination rule under review by FMCSA’s top brass, agency leader says

Updated Nov 11, 2014

inspectionThe long-awaited Safety Fitness Determination rule has hit the “front office” of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, said FMCSA Chief Safety Officer Jack Van Steenburg at the American Trucking Associations’ annual conference last week.

The rule will bring major revisions to the way FMCSA scores trucking companies. Van Steenburg said the process is “very, very detailed,” and that the rule needs to be clear before moving to the next step.

Safety Fitness Determinations will work in conjunction with the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, but instead of producing rankings based on relativity, it will give carriers an “absolute” score.

Van Steenburg said his desk is one of the last stops before the rule moves on to the Office of the Secretary of Transportation and then the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. Once it clears both of those hurdles, it will be cleared for publication as a proposed rule.

It will then have an either 60- or 90-day comment period before the agency begins work on a Final Rule.

Van Steenburg said he would like the see a proposed rule published by October 2015.

A final electronic logging device rule is expected to come before October 2015 too, Van Steenburg said.