The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the primary enforcement and regulatory Agency responsible for safe operation of large trucks and buses, the companies that own them, and the drivers who operate them. From the time of its creation in 1999, the Agency has implemented enforcement programs, rules, and systems to reduce crashes involving large trucks and buses. In recent years, the results of that work have contributed to a dramatic reduction in severe and fatal commercial motor vehicle (CMV) related crashes, with a combined 1,497 fewer lives lost between 2007, 2008 and 2009, when fatalities in crashes with large trucks and buses numbered 5,116; 4,545; and 3,619, respectively.
The Agency’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget requests of $606 million and 1,169 FTE launches the next generation of safety programs and flexibilities needed to continue the downward trend in severe and fatal CMV-related crashes. FMCSA’s strategy, known as the Rule of Three, is based on three core principles: 1) Raise the bar to entry into the commercial motor vehicle industry; 2) Require operators to maintain standards to remain in the industry; and 3) Remove high-risk carriers, vehicles, drivers, and service providers from operating (Table 1). This budget would enable the Agency to deploy program initiatives, IT system enhancements, critical rules, and strategic mission support needed to implement the Rule of Three. The strategy includes implementing three comprehensive grant programs: 1) the Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) grant; 2) the Driver Safety grant and 3) the Safety Data and technology grant with the flexibility to distribute funds across sub-grants. This structure provides flexibility to align financial assistance to address mission requirements, emerging safety concerns and State needs, resulting in more-targeted programs necessary to accomplish improved motor carrier safety. It is within this framework that FMCSA proposes a FY 2012 budget in support of the Department’s number one priority – Safety.
FMCSA FY 2012 Budget Priorities
Within FY 2012 Motor Carrier Safety Operations and Programs ($276 million), FMCSA requests $9.5 million for Research; $42.2 million for IT Development; $154.3 million for Enforcement and Intervention; and $70.0 million for Safety Mission Support. With regard to Motor Carrier Safety Grants ($330 million), FMCSA proposes to streamline multiple safety grants and grant administration into 3 categories: $262 million for Compliance, Safety and Accountability Grant Program, $38 million for Driver Safety Grant Program and, $30 million for Data and Technology Grant Program. Through this funding, FMCSA expects to achieve the following outcomes:
- Complete critical programs that close driver and company loopholes;
- Fully integrate Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) (formerly CSA 2010) into FMCSA’s commercial vehicle enforcement work;
- Leverage the power of state commercial vehicle enforcement units, registration and licensing agencies and other grantees to target unsafe driver and carrier operations;
- Deliver a robust and responsive suite of rules and systems; and \Empower the most important resource – its workforce – by solidifying mission-critical support functions.