Owner Operator Direct - Beyond Compliance for the Commercial Trucker

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may add a new Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) category to its Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program in order to implement a “Beyond Compliance” system that rewards motor carriers that go above and beyond mandatory compliance.

In a Federal Register notice, the FMCSA says the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, passed in December, requires it to implement a “Beyond Compliance” program no later than 18 months after the enactment of the Act.

The FMCSA would have two options for recognizing motor carriers: either by incorporating a methodology into the CSA program; or through a new BASIC category. Recognition could be either credit or an improved Safety Measurement System (SMS) percentile. In its notice, the FMCSA proposes going the route of credit through a new Beyond Compliance BASIC. This eighth BASIC would appear when a motor carrier is approved to participate in the Beyond Compliance program.

The FAST Act stipulates that, to be eligible, a motor carrier must either: install advanced safety equipment; use enhanced driver fitness measures; adopt fleet safety management tools, technologies and programs; or “satisfy other standards determined appropriate by the administrator.”

The FMCSA notice sets five additional criteria motor carriers must meet, including that: the motor carrier does not have a Conditional or Unsatisfactory safety rating; the motor carrier does not have any BASICs over intervention thresholds at the time of the application; the proposed technology or program is applied to the company's population of vehicles or drivers to adequately achieve the performance goal and improve safety; the motor carrier is an interstate carrier; and the motor carrier has graduated from the new entrant monitoring period.

Some motor carrier representatives have taken issue with limitations the FMCSA has proposed on eligibility, contending they will exclude many small carriers. The FMCSA is seeking comment on its proposal through June 20, 2016.