U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
November 6, 1997
EDITORS AND CORRESPONDENTS
The Federal Highway Administration has adopted some changes in
the safety fitness rating methodology as part of the goal of
achieving a more performance-based means of determining when a
carrier is not fit to conduct operations.
By a notice published in the November 6 Federal Register, we
have incorporated a safety fitness rating methodology as an
appendix to the Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Procedures
We took this action largely in response to a federal court
finding that our procedures for assigning safety ratings had been
adopted without proper notice and comment rulemaking.
The new rule also includes a new procedural right for
carriers. If a proposed safety rating is unsatisfactory or
conditional, it will not become effective until 45 days after the
carrier is so notified of the proposed rating. During that
period, the carrier may try to improve its compliance posture or
bring any material factual issues in dispute to the attention of
the Office of Motor Carriers.
In the near future, we will also publish an advance notice of
proposed rulemaking requesting comments on the future of a rating
system that can be used both in making safety fitness
determinations and in meeting the demands of shippers, insurers,
and other present and potential users interested in evaluating
motor carrier performance.
Further information is available from William C. Hill of the
Office of Motor Carriers (202-366-4009).
George L. Reagle
Last updated November 6, 1997
Associate Administrator for Motor Carriers