FMCSA toughens safety requirements for bus companies

Posted on December 16, 2008

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented a new rule that raises the compliance standards for passing new entrant safety audits, while ensuring that safety deficiencies are corrected, before newly registered bus and trucking companies are granted permanent registration with the agency.

The final rule establishes that a newly registered bus or  trucking company will automatically fail its safety audit if it violates any of 16 essential federal regulations during the 18-month safety monitoring period, including controlled substances and alcohol testing, hours-of-service, driver qualifications, vehicle condition and carrier financial responsibility.

If a company fails its new entrant safety audit, it may result in a carrier’s registration with the agency being revoked unless the carrier takes necessary corrective action within a specified time period established by FMCSA.

The rule would also require that if during the 18-month safety monitoring period, certain violations are discovered during roadside inspections, the new entrant may be subjected to a new entrant expedited safety audit or in the case of serious safety violations, a more comprehensive compliance review, which can result in fines and penalties.

The carrier may also be required to submit a written corrective action plan explaining in detail how the carrier will achieve compliance with the safety rules and improve its safety performance.


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