FMCSA notice targets unsafe motor carriers

June 20, 2023

Mark Schremmer


A long-anticipated advance notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at removing unsafe motor carriers is expected to be published this summer.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Spring 2023 Unified Regulatory Agenda, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration projects to publish in June a notice asking for public comment about the agency’s safety fitness procedures.

“FMCSA is seeking information on how the agency might use data and resources more effectively to identify unfit motor carriers and to remove them from the nation’s roadways,” the agenda stated. “FMCSA would seek public comment about the use of available safety data, including inspection data, in determining carrier fitness to operate.”

The notice was previously projected for January and then March.

The agency also is expected to seek public input on potential changes to the current three-tier safety fitness rating structure of satisfactory, conditional and unsatisfactory. The action also is expected to include a review of the list of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that FMCSA uses in its safety fitness rating methodology.

Once the advance notice of proposed rulemaking is published, the public will be given time to offer feedback. After reviewing the feedback, the agency will then decide whether or not to publish a formal proposal.

Other agenda items

The FMCSA has a busy year ahead with about four dozen rulemakings included in its spring 2023 agenda.

Those rulemakings include a forthcoming notice regarding broker transparency. A notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at improving transparency in property carrier broker transactions is targeted for June but could be released later this summer.

In May 2020, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association petitioned FMCSA to begin the rulemaking process for more transparency in trucking transactions with brokers.

FMCSA granted that petition earlier this year, and the agency’s proposal to improve broker transparency should be unveiled this summer. While OOIDA’s petition asked the agency to require brokers to automatically provide transaction records within 48 hours and to prohibit brokers from asking carriers to waive their transparency rights, it’s unknown exactly what FMCSA will propose.

The FMCSA’s regulatory agenda also includes notices of proposed rulemakings on such issues as heavy vehicle speed limiters, automatic emergency braking systems, electronic logging device revisions and electronic IDs; and a final rule on broker and freight forward financial responsibility.

The regulatory agenda maintains June as the target date for FMCSA’s proposal to require speed limiters on most commercial motor vehicles. However, FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson recently told Land Line Now that the proposal would likely be delayed until late summer or early fall. LL