What owner-operators can expect from FMCSA’s Safety Fitness rule


Looming for nearly a decade in the regulatory pipeline has been a rule to implement the third part of FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program — the Safety Fitness Determination.

Though FMCSA hasn’t divulged much about the rule, the basics are this: The agency will implement a process by which to produce an absolute score for carriers, which it will use to target carriers for intervention, as it does with the current CSA Safety Measurement System.

FMCSA Director of Enforcement and Compliance, Joe DeLorenzo, offered a few more details last week at the Omnitracs Outlook user conference in Dallas. Overdrive sister site CCJ’s Senior Editor Aaron Huff was in attendance and has a full write-up on DeLorenzo’s talk about the Safety Fitness Determination rule and crash accountability in CSA.

The key difference between the Safety Fitness portion of CSA and the already existing SMS, DeLorenzo says, will be relativity — or lack thereof. The SFD will score carriers on their individual performance, rather than the percentile rankings produced by the SMS, which compare carriers to their peers.

The agency will have legal authority to assign monthly safety ratings to carriers — satisfactory, conditional or unsatisfactory — based on the agency’s well of data, rather than solely on manual compliance reviews.

The SFD ratings will be derived from problems carriers have in certain areas over certain time periods, DeLorenzo said.

As reported by Overdrive this week, the agency’s Safety Fitness Determination rule proposal is projected to be published in July, though the agency has continued to push the projected date back. The rule has been in the works since 2007.

Click here to read Huff’s full write-up on DeLorenzo’s address.