FMCSA seeks public comment on ways to improve motor carrier safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) plans to conduct a comprehensive review of how the agency can best monitor and assess the safety of the nation's motor carriers and ensure their compliance with federal regulations.

The multi-year review project, known as the Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 initiative (CSA-2010), will begin in September with a series of public listening sessions. FMCSA will ask motor carriers, insurance and safety advocacy groups, traffic enforcement professionals and the public for their views on the ideal ways to measure the safety of truck and bus operations and take effective action.

"Today we are making great strides in improving motor carrier safety," says FMCSA administrator Annette Sandberg. "Now is the time to look at every aspect of our safety program -- how we use it, how we can improve it, and how we can add to it -- so we can be ready for the future."

The dates and locations of the sessions are: Sept. 21, Doubletree Hotel, Mission Valley, San Diego; Sept. 28, Sheraton Atlanta, Atlanta; Oct. 5, Hampton Inn & Suites Dallas/Mesquite, Mesquite, TX; Oct. 12, Wyndham Chicago, Chicago; Oct. 19, Fairview Park Marriot, Falls Church, VA; Oct. 26, Sheraton Springfield, Springfield, MA.

The agency currently inspects higher risk carriers through a series of on-site inspections and reviews. However, it is uncertain whether the process will remain effective in the face of expected increases in freight volume. Over the next 20 years, freight volume is expected to increase 50% from current levels.

The FMCSA has not yet indicated what course of action it plans to take regarding the new Hours of Service regulations, which were thrown out by the U.S. Court of Appeals last month. The agency has 45 days in which to appeal, and the deadline for that is fast approaching (the end of August).

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