There were several compelling reasons for the rulemaking. Congress passed a law (49 U.S.C. 5109) which required FMCSA to have a permit program. In addition, as part of a settlement agreement with safety organizations, FMCSA agreed to publish a permitting rule by the end of June, 2004.
FMCSA also recognizes that a HM permitting program would produce safety and security benefits. FMCSA estimates that the rule will prevent 7 crashes of the regulated materials per year, saving approximately $3.6 million annually. In addition, increased security from the permit program reduces the chance these materials could be used in a terrorist attack.