I am pleased to present the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA)’s FY 2016 Budget Request of $668.5 million. This budget request supports the GROW AMERICA Act motor carrier provisions as a continuation of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) authorization and aligns with the Agency’s 2012-2016 Strategic Plan and the United States Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Strategic Framework and Roadway Safety Plan (RSP). This request represents a 16.9% increase from FY 2015 funding levels.
Safety is our top priority and these funds will help FMCSA improve safety on our roadways and ultimately save lives. While we continue to accomplish a great deal in the name of safety, our work in preventing deadly truck and bus crashes is far from over. A recent upward trend in the number of people killed in large truck and bus crashes has created an added urgency to press forward on our vision for a crash free transportation life cycle.
Any and all safety results we achieve are only possible because of the investment made in FMCSA resources and in our state and local law enforcement partnerships. Always on the front lines for safety, we will strengthen our partnerships and leverage our resources to create a safety culture based on data driven safety rules, strong enforcement programs and comprehensive education and outreach. In our pursuit of results, we will continue to raise the bar for safety and make the roads safe for everyone.
The following is an overview of key priorities in FMCSA’s FY 2016 budget organized by focus areas in the FMCSA Strategic Plan.
CMV Safety First Culture:
Developing and delivering programs that address safety deficiencies with carriers, drivers and other service providers emphasizes accountability and responsibility. We will strengthen and intensify various programs that will have the effect of raising the bar on CMV safety across the transportation life cycle, fostering a safety culture in the industry, and embracing individual and corporate accountability.
We will continue to focus on making investments to improve the registration process. For example, enhancing the process for examining new entrants and conducting new approaches for safety audits will help us deliver the type of activities that impact safety standards. Our ability to effectively focus efforts on carriers and drivers that commit safety violations depends on our ability to strengthen registration requirements and screening.
Progress made by the Motorcoach Safety Initiative must advance so that we may reach our ultimate goal of one level of safety for all passengers. We train all investigators to use enhanced investigative techniques and conduct analyses to maintain a high level of oversight over the passenger carrier industry. In addition, we will expand our range of oversight efforts to ensure that bus transportation is safe.
First and foremost, our efforts also continue to increase stakeholder engagement and consumer outreach on the importance of safety. We continue to engage all carriers and drivers to understand and correct safety compliance issues. Full implementation of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners has been in progress and we continue to reach out to health care practitioners to register as a certified medical examiner.
Our Protect Your Move website has become a valued consumer information tool for moving fraud prevention, protecting the millions of Americans who move households each year. FMCSA develops more partnerships with Federal and State enforcement agencies to expand our reach and improve consumer protection in the moving industry.
Our focus on improvements to the Safety Measurement System make Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) an even stronger program for targeting enforcement activities and identifying motor carriers that pose the greatest risk to safety.
Exponential Safety Power:
Collaborative partnerships are supported by the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance (MCSAP) grant programs. Through our safety assistance program grants, FMCSA supports state enforcement of safety regulations through roadside inspections, traffic enforcement, carrier interventions, and a robust data collection system that provides the information we need to identify problem areas and direct priorities. An increase of funding for these enforcement grant programs will help FMCSA fully implement CSA, our cornerstone program, by providing more state resources to conduct carrier interventions and safety inspections necessary to evaluate safety performance. It will also allow FMCSA to engage more local law enforcement activities on unsafe trucks and buses, conduct more strike forces, and expand inspection capabilities.
FMCSA advances a common safety agenda and grows our collective safety power by establishing new partnerships and developing policies and programs that promote collaborative opportunities with all safety stakeholders.
Comprehensive Data Utilization & Leveraging Technology:
FMCSA’s safety programs are highly dependent on timely, accurate, consistent and complete data for monitoring carriers and driver safety in order to measure safety performance, analyze regulatory initiatives and identify safety issues. Because data is so important to our safety mission, we have developed and must maintain a strong program to promote continuous improvement in data quality. We leverage new technologies by conducting transformative research that focuses on risk safety risk factors and technologies to inform and enhance enforcement and compliance records. Our Information Technology (IT) systems are critical to our data-driven enforcement and compliance program and provide real-time access to data for the enforcement community, industry, stakeholders and the public. Our technology program adopts, develops, tests and deploys advanced integrated information technology solutions and innovative on-board commercial vehicle driver and roadside technologies.
As “One FMCSA” we focus our efforts to develop an agency where every employee understands our goals and how we are working collectively toward them. Through this inspired vision, we seek the leadership, management and services needed by our employees to ensure the success of our core safety mission.
In pursuit of our safety mission, our enforcement activities at the U.S./Mexico border require safe resources for the on-site staff. The current lack of adequate facilities and poor conditions at the border makes truck and bus safety investigations and inspections a hazardous undertaking for FMCSA.
The pursuit of “One FMCSA,” must build on our recruitment and retention efforts to maintain an experienced and committed workforce. One part of that effort is the improvement of our professional and leadership development programs offered for employees to ensure our staff has a high skill level and to provide a pool of future leaders for FMCSA through succession planning.