On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) began enforcing its New Entrant Safety Assurance Process rule, which requires newly registered truck and bus companies to meet stricter safety requirements.
This final rule raises the compliance standards for passing new entrant safety audits and requires that new carriers correct safety deficiencies before being granted permanent registration.
"Safety is our highest priority," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This new rule says that we are serious about having safe trucks and buses on the road. This is important for those behind the wheels of these big rigs and those who share the road with them."
Under the new requirements, a newly registered truck or bus company will automatically fail its safety audit if violations of any one of 16 essential federal regulations are discovered. These regulations cover controlled substances and alcohol testing, hours-of-service rules, driver qualifications, vehicle condition and carrier insurance responsibility.
Failure to pass a new entrant safety audit may result in revocation of a carrier's registration, unless that carrier takes corrective action within a time period established by FMCSA. Additionally, if certain violations are discovered during roadside inspections, the new carrier may be subject to an expedited safety audit or a compliance review that can result in fines or an out-of-service order.
For more information on the New Entrant Safety Assurance Process rule, visit the FMCSA Website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.