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FMCSA Changes Policy Regarding Calculating and Publicizing Crash Rates

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Week of June 25, 2012
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced changes to way it calculates and publicizes out of service rates for the purpose of issuing hazardous materials safety permits (HMSP).

In a move that will affect any carrier that requires a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will change the way it calculates and publicizes the crash rates and out of service rates for hazardous materials, drivers and vehicles.

Currently, this information is pulled from two years worth of inspection data collected by the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). If a motor carrier falls within the worst-performing 30% of motor carriers, their HMSP will be denied; meaning they can no longer haul hazmats.

What is Changing?

The new methodology presents a much broader spectrum of compliance history for FMCSA to review before making a decision to let a carrier haul hazardous materials. Instead of two years worth of data, the new system will look at eight years (from 2003 to 2010) to determine a more accurate national average for eligible crash and OOS thresholds.

In addition, these rates will remain, static rather than change every two years. FMCSA argues that this, “will improve safety by providing a clearly identifiable standard for industry compliance and minimize the burden on motor carriers and the HM industry by allowing more appropriate measures that ensure eligibility for the HMSP.”

How Will New Decisions be Made?

The 30% threshold remains as it does today, but FMCSA hopes that by calculating that threshold from a much broader picture, it will be able to make more accurate, and therefore more safety-focused, decisions. When a carrier applies for an HMSP, FMCSA will examine the last 12 months of the carrier’s safety history. To determine the OOS rate, the number of OOS inspections is divided by the number of inspections, for each category, from the last twelve months. Likewise, the crash rate is determined by dividing the number of crashes by the number of power units owned in the last 12 months.

What will the New Rates Be?

We have included FMCSA’s new threshold rates in the table below. As you will see, the agency has included the Crash and Out-of-Service rates from the last eight years, broken into blocks of two-year increments. The ‘Fixed Rate’, at the bottom of the table is the rate against which motor carriers will be judged.

When is This Changing?

It already has. The change became effective on the day it was published in the Federal Register on June 27.

crashratetable.gif

Notes:
1. Rates for registration cycles 2005-2006, 2007-2008, and 2009-2010 were calculated on Calendar Year MCMIS data. For instance, the 2005-2006 rates were based on CY 2003-2004 data and issued on December 31, 2004, for implementation on January 1, 2005.
2. Rates for registration cycle 2011-2012 were calculated using MCMIS Fiscal Year 2009-2010 data and issued on September 30, 2010, 90 days prior to implementation on January 1, 2011

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 744 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2012