BASIC Changes Coming to FMCSA Safety Ratings Program

The seasons won’t be the only thing changing this December. A new safety ratings program designed to increase safety on our nation’s highways is coming as well, bringing with it changes that will impact the daily travels of truck drivers nationwide.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced earlier this year changes to its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, most notably to its Cargo-Related Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category. The CSA program will be renamed the Hazardous Materials Compliance BASIC, a program that will score motor carriers on a variety of safety factors.

Additional changes call for scrapping the current practice of issuing citations to truck drivers who are pulled over for driving 1 to 5 m.p.h. over the posted speed limit. Under current rules, truck drivers cannot be stopped for an inspection without there being reasonable cause. Truck drivers in Michigan have told me that, in order to justify a stop, officers currently issue a speeding ticket for 1 to 5 m.p.h.

Each of these measures are modifications to FMCSA’s BASIC program, which also includes initiatives such as the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC and the Hours-of-Service BASIC. In my view, the changes help FMCSA take a step in the right direction and I applaud the administration for responding to concerns of safety advocates and industry leaders by creating a rating formula that is as fair and accurate as possible.

If you have been injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer, bus or other commercial vehicle, protect your legal rights by contacting an attorney with a proven track-record of truck accident litigation success. Contact personal injury attorney Michael Leizerman at 419-243-1010.

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