May 6, 1996
In a step to increase awareness of and compliance with the safety regulations, the Federal Highway Administration is proposing to eliminate two of the three current motor carrier safety ratings, retaining only the "unsatisfactory" category.
Doing away with the "satisfactory" and "conditional" ratings, as we plan, signals our clear intention of focusing on operators needing to improve their safety performance, as reflected by accidents and roadside vehicle and driver checks, as well as safety management systems needing improvement.
This change, published in the April 29 Federal Register as a notice of proposed rulemaking, is another part of our continuing zero-base regulatory review. It represents another step toward rules that will make life a little easier for carriers and their drivers but with no sacrifice of safety, which is the No. 1 priority of Secretary Peña.
In the rating process, we will continue to concentrate on acute and critical regulations having the greatest impact on safety improvement. Acute regulations are those for which noncompliance is so severe as to require immediate corrective actions. Critical regulations are identified as those where noncompliance indicates a lack of management or operational controls.
Comments on the proposed rulemaking will be accepted for 90 days from April 29 and should be addressed to FHWA Docket
MC-96-18, Room 4232, Federal Highway Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20590.
Further information is available from Paul Brennan (202-366-0834) of the Office of General Counsel or Stan Hamilton (202-366-0665) of the Office of Motor Carriers.
George L. Reagle
Associate Administrator for Motor Carriers