The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has presented a 2012-2016 Strategic Plan that will focus the agency’s resources on three core principals: raising the bar to enter the motor carrier industry; maintaining high safety standards to remain in the industry; and removing high-risk carriers, drivers, and service providers from operation.

This is the agency’s second strategic plan since the inception of FMCSA in 2000, according to Anne S. Ferro, FMCSA Administrator. “This new strategic plan is our road map that charts our course for the next five years. It directs how we will use our resources to achieve greater success in saving lives,” she said.

The plan includes establishing new motor carrier credentialing standards including expanding the use of an automated vetting process as part of the new applicant screening process for all new carriers and defining successor liability standards to strengthen the agency’s application process to identify and prosecute reincarnated carriers who are trying to avoid fines and out-of-service orders.

As part of FMCSA’s ongoing effort to address driver fatigue, the agency said it will continue to work on a rulemaking that will require motor carriers to install and operate electronic on-board recorders.

The agency plan will also consider updating standards drivers must meet, improve and standardize training programs that training institutions must use and metrics they must meet, and promote periodic refresher driver training.

The plan also calls for identifying ways to reach other elements in the commercial vehicle “transportation lifecycle” that influence truck safety, such as shippers, receivers, brokers and freight forwarders “that may have a detrimental effect on safety through their actions.”

The strategic plan also addresses educating four-wheelers on how to share the highways safely with big rigs through the FMCSA’s Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) partnership with state law enforcement.

FMCSA also plans to examine the feasibility of a driver safety fitness determination to further identify unsafe drivers who should not be in the industry.  A Safety Fitness Determination rulemaking is also planned that will change the way motor carriers are assessed and rated. This rule will propose changes that will allow FMCSA to more quickly remove unsafe carriers from operation, the agency said.

FMCSA also plans to strengthen its Household Goods commercial enforcement program by introducing rulemaking to increase consumer protection through increased accountability of rogue moving companies, which will lead to a reduction in consumer complaints of moving fraud.

Through implementation of the plan, FMCSA expects to produce the following outcomes:

  • Prevent poor carriers from reincarnating to operate.
  • Ensure only qualified drivers are behind the wheel of a CMV.
  • Address safety issues of a greater segment of the industry.
  • Improve enforcement effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Reduce the number of unsafe and high-risk behaviors.

To see the entire FMCSA strategic plan go to

http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/what-we-do/Strategic-Plan/Strategic-Plan.aspx