The draft safety title of pending legislation to reauthorize the federal highway program lays out a broad agenda for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA"). Many of the dozens of provisions already are in development, but the draft does give the agency additional authority in a number of areas.
It would strengthen FMCSA's ability to revoke the registration of a carrier, forwarder or broker that has reincarnated itself under a different identity after having been sanctioned for safety violations. Carriers and managers found to have repeatedly avoid compliance requirements also would be subject to sanctions.
It would toughen barriers to entry by requiring potential carriers to submit a comprehensive safety management plan and pass a written exam covering safety regulations. And it would require the agency to conduct a safety review of a new entrant within a year of registration.
The draft also calls for a study of how detention time affects hours of service violations and driver fatigue. The study would be conducted by the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, the enforcement community and labor and safety advocacy groups to which the agency turns for feedback and ideas on industry issues., a panel of officials from the industry.