Trucking groups complain about Safety Fitness Determination

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A group of trucking industry stakeholders has issued a challenge to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety Fitness Determination rulemaking, publication of which is expected this month.

Letters went to lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

The coalition, which includes the National Association of Small Trucking Companies, the Western States Trucking Association, ASECTT and five others, on Tuesday sent a letter to members of Congress and, according to sources, FMCSA Administrator-elect Scott Darling, asking them to reconsider the rule given provisions of the December-enacted FAST Act highway funding law.

Pursuit of the rule, according to the letter, disregards key components of the FAST Act’s trucking regulatory reform, including sections that stipulate FMCSA:

(1) publish either an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking or use the negotiated rulemaking process prior to publishing a major rule,

(2) perform a “regulatory impact analysis” on rules and their potentially varying impacts on different industry segments, such as small carriers and

(3) remove CSA percentile rankings from public view.

Publication of a Safety Fitness Determination rule, the groups argue, would fail to consider the results of the highway bill’s required review and revamp of the CSA program.

For evidence related to the last point, the coalition cites the agency’s own summary of the SFD rule, which notes the safety rating would rely on “on-road safety performance in relation to five of the Agency’s seven Behavioral Analysis and Safety improvement Categories (BASICs)” in the SMS.

See the full letter.

A request for comment has been filed with FMCSA and will be added when it becomes available.