FMCSA Announces Proposed Improvements to Its Safety Measurement System to Prevent Crashes

On February 14, FMCSA announced a set of changes to the Safety Measurement System (SMS) used to prioritize carriers for Agency intervention.

SMS uses data from inspections and crashes to help identify carriers that pose high risks to safety, and FMCSA has conducted analyses that revealed potential SMS improvements. Those improvements include reorganizing the BASICs (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories), proposed to be called “safety categories,” to better identify specific safety problems. In addition, the changes include simplifying violation severity weights, removing percentile jumps that occur when carriers move into a new safety event group, and adjusting the Intervention Thresholds.

FMCSA proposes the following combined improvements to SMS: (1) reorganized and updated safety categories, including new segmentation; (2) consolidated violations; (3) simplified violation severity weights; (4) proportionate percentiles instead of safety event groups; (5) improved Intervention Thresholds; (6) greater focus on recent violations; and (7) an updated Utilization Factor. Details of these seven improvements can be found from pages 11 through 21 of Docket No. FMCSA-2022-0066. Additionally, Docket FMCSA-2022-0066 recognizes that although crash severity and inconsistent state enforcement of carrier inspections may lead to unfair SMS results, no model changes are proposed at this time.

A new website, the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) Prioritization Preview, which is now live, is the first phase of planned updates to the Agency’s SMS. Motor carriers can visit the website to preview how their data would appear under the proposed changes. Companies are encouraged to preview these results and submit feedback on the proposed changes to FMCSA at the (New Carrier Safety Assessment System) by May 16. No changes will be implemented in SMS at this time, as they are pending comments received to the agency over the next 90 days. NTTC staff encourages members to review the changes and provide feedback to FMCSA as well as the NTTC Safety and Security Council.

FMCSA is hosting three public Q&A webinars to better detail these proposed changes on March 7 (3-4PM), March 14 (3-4PM), and March 15 (11-Noon) – all times Eastern. In each of these webinars, participants will be able to ask questions about the preview and the proposed changes and receive real-time answers, time permitting.

Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions.