Comments due Thursday for controversial Safety Fitness Determination proposed rule

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inspectionCommenters have until Thursday, June 23 to tell the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration their thoughts on the proposed Safety Fitness Determination rule.

Since the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in January, it has been met with opposition, not only from trucking industry groups, but also Congress. The FAST Act highway bill requires reforms to FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, and groups have said the SFD rulemaking circumvents Congress’ directive. Congress, on more than one occasion, has sent letters to FMCSA asking Administrator Scott Darling to stop work on the rule until the reforms are made to the perceived flaws in the CSA system.

FMCSA responded to the criticism in April, arguing that the FAST Act didn’t limit the agency’s ability to proceed with a rule. FMCSA’s Joe DeLorenzo, head of enforcement and compliance, said if the National Academies of Science come back with recommendations for the SFD rule after it completes its study on the CSA program, FMCSA will incorporate the recommendations in the final version of the rule.

Reply comments can be made on previously submitted comments at this link.

The reply comment period, ongoing since the end of the initial comment period, ends this week for the NPRM that outlines FMCSA’s plan to update its safety rating system for carriers by integrating on-road safety data from inspections, along with the results of carrier investigations and crash reports.

The SFD rule would replace the current three-tier federal rating system of “Satisfactory, Conditional and Unsatisfactory” for carriers with a single determination of “Unfit,” which would require the carrier to either improve its operations or shut down.

Industry stakeholders weighed in during the initial comment period, and most of whom asked FMCSA to hold off on any rulemaking until the Congressionally-mandated reforms are made to the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Safety Measurement System.

See this page for Overdrive’s full SFD coverage.

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