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  • Henry Seaton

FMCSA withdraws SFD proposal, plans new review

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has withdrawn its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to change the process for carrier safety fitness determinations (SFDs) and cancelled previously announced plans to develop a supplemental NPRM (SNPRM)

A modified proposal would come after the agency receives the correlation study from the National Academies of Science (NAS), as required by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, and assesses "whether and, if so, what corrective actions are advisable." The NAS study, which is expected to be released this summer, was one of several provisions in the FAST Act aimed at reforming the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program and the Safety Measurement System (SMS) methodology that drives CSA.

In addition to receiving the NAS report, FMCSA said it needs to "complete additional analysis before determining whether further rulemaking action is necessary to revise the safety fitness determination process." In the latest notice, the agency addressed some of the comments it received on the January 21 NPRM.

FMCSA announced January 12 that it would be conducting an SNPRM, but since that in the final days of the Obama administration, it was unclear whether the Trump administration would follow through. Also, last month a broad industry coalition asked Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to withdraw the SFD NPRM in deference to the NAS study.

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