January 8, 2014

Trucking: Safety fitness rule and e-log, driver database rule

From: Overdrive

Safety fitness rule scheduled for January, as e-log, driver database rule still expected

In its Semiannual Regulatory Agenda report published Jan. 7, the Department of Transportation included an entry on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety Fitness Determination rule, which hints that a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be published in January.

The rule would alter the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program and the data it uses to produce a carrier’s Safety Fitness Determination. Now, the agency only uses on-site compliance reviews to produce an overall safety rating for carriers.

With the new rule, however, the agency would begin using data from roadside inspections, crashes, investigations and violation history (essentially, the components of a carriers CSA Safety Measurement Score) to produce a Safety Fitness Determination for a carrier.

The entry in the regulatory update doesn’t directly say the rulemaking notice will be published this month, but it does include an action item listed for January 2014 labeled “NPRM” — Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

However, that may not be entirely accurate, as the report’s entry on an electronic logging device rule lists publication of a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking as an action item in November 2013, which did not happen.

Like the e-log rule, though, the agency had aimed to publish the Safety Fitness Determination rule last year: Last December agency head Anne Ferro said the rule would come sometime in the middle of 2013.

The e-log entry did not offer any updates as far as content of the rule or when it would be published. FMCSA originally said it planned to publish the rule in September, before later pegging Nov. 18 as the date it would publish the SNPRM. Later it indicated Dec. 23 as a possible publication date.

The rule has not yet been published, and the OMB is still reviewing it.

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