Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM); request for comments.
FMCSA proposes changes to the New Entrant Safety Assurance Process that would raise the standard of compliance for passing the new entrant safety audit. The agency has identified 11 regulations that it believes are essential elements of basic safety management controls necessary to operate in interstate commerce and proposes that failure to comply with any one of the 11 regulations would result in automatic failure of the audit. Under this proposal, carriers would also be subject to the current safety audit evaluation criteria in Appendix A of part 385. Additionally, if a roadside inspection discloses certain violations, the new entrant would be subject to expedited actions to correct these deficiencies. The agency proposes to eliminate Form MCS- 150A--Safety Certification for Application for USDOT Number. The agency also intends to check compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and certain household goods-related requirements in the new entrant safety audit, if they apply to the new entrant's operation. However, failure to comply with these requirements would not impact the outcome of the safety audit. These changes would not impose additional operational requirements on any new entrant carrier. All new entrants would continue to receive educational information on how to comply with the safety regulations and be given an opportunity to correct any deficiencies found. FMCSA recognizes many new entrants are small businesses that are unaware of these requirements and continue to need the agency's assistance. Finally, FMCSA would make clarifying changes to some of the existing new entrant regulations and establish a separate new entrant application procedure and safety oversight program for non-North America-domiciled motor carriers. FMCSA believes this proposal would improve its ability to identify at-risk new entrant carriers and ensure deficiencies in basic safety management controls are corrected before the new entrant is granted permanent registration.