U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 13, 2002
Contact: Dave Longo
FMCSA Toughens Safety Requirements for New Motor Carriers
The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today established new, stricter minimum requirements, in an interim final rule, to improve the safety performance of new U.S. and Canadian entrant motor carriers by ensuring they are knowledgeable about applicable federal motor carrier safety standards. This regulation responds to requirements of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999.
Applicants will be required to demonstrate knowledge of safety regulations through an application process and will undergo an on-site safety audit within the first 18 months of operations before receiving permanent operating authority. Carriers failing to demonstrate basic safety management controls during the 18-month period will be denied permanent operating authority.
New entrants must certify that they will comply with applicable requirements covering driver qualifications, hours of service, controlled substance and alcohol testing, vehicle condition, accident monitoring, and hazardous materials transportation.
The FMCSA intends to improve the safety performance of new entrants by providing educational and technical assistance to new carriers. The safety audit and 18-month monitoring period provide new carriers an opportunity to understand their safety obligations under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and applicable Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) and to determine operational deficiencies. The safety audit will include a review of a new entrant's safety data, a review of requested motor-carrier documents, and an interview with the motor carrier.
Mexican-domiciled carriers will be subject to similar application and safety monitoring procedures established by the FMCSA on March 19, 2002.
The effective date of this interim final rule is Jan. 1, 2003. This will allow the agency sufficient time to put into place the necessary resources to conduct safety audits prescribed by the rule. The FMCSA expects approximately 40,000 new-entrant applications annually.
Written comments on this interim final rule should be sent by June 30, 2002, to the USDOT Docket Facility, Attn: Docket No. FMCSA-2001-11061, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh St., S.W., Washington, DC 20590-0001 or faxed to (202) 493-2251. The rule also is on the Internet and can be viewed after searching at:
. Comments may be submitted electronically at
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