FMCSA setting stage for Beyond Compliance program

February 2020

Mark Schremmer

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FMCSA is taking steps toward establishing the congressionally mandated Beyond Compliance program.

The notice and request for comments, which published in the Federal Register on Dec. 18, aims to obtain information from motor carriers so that the agency can “study the effectiveness of various technologies, programs, and policies on motor carrier safety performance in support of the implementation of the FAST Act’s Beyond Compliance requirements.”

This step by FMCSA is an information collection request to help the agency eventually take the Beyond Compliance program through the rulemaking process.

FAST Act

Based off 2015’s Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, FMCSA is required to give credit to motor carriers that install advanced safety equipment, use enhanced driver fitness measures, adopt fleet safety management tools and programs, or satisfy other standards determined appropriate by the FMCSA administrator. The idea is to reward motor carriers that go above and beyond what is required to ensure safe operation.

“The study does not attempt to conduct a full survey of the motor carrier population,” the notice said.

Pay to play?

Critics of a Beyond Compliance program view it as being biased toward large fleets and being a pay-to-play system.

“Certainly, we don’t want to see it limited to only technology-based equipment being installed on your truck,” said Jay Grimes, OOIDA’s director of federal affairs. “We’ve seen that better driver pay leads to better safety performance as well. We’d like to widen the base, where it’s not all about putting the bells and whistles on your truck. A lot of that doesn’t make a lot of sense for the small-business trucker who has years and years of proven safety without necessarily installing that technology.”

Public comments on the information collection request will be accepted until Feb. 18. Comments can be made at the Regulations.gov website by entering docket number FMCSA-2018-0328. LL

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.

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