In a recent report to Congress, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration outlined a nine-year plan to develop a driver fitness rating system, contingent on obtaining the proper resources and completing other agency work.
According to Heavy Duty Trucking, the idea was initially pushed by the Government Accountability Office and adopted by the Department of Transportation in 2012.
However, before the agency can turn its attention to driver fitness, it must first finish the carrier fitness rule that it’s been working on since 2007.
As is the case for carriers, a potential driver fitness rating system would identify the drivers who pose the highest safety risk and target them for enforcement.
The carrier regulation would in effect codify the CSA enforcement program so it can be used to issue a safety fitness determination for individual trucking operations, states HDT. The initial proposal for the carrier rule has been bumped several times and now is scheduled for White House vetting in October and to be published early next year. A final version is not likely before 2015.
The agency said it would begin work by assessing the feasibility of creating a system using driver data and severity weighting. In the second year it would develop a driver safety measurement method and processes for identifying unsafe drivers, which would be followed by several years of testing and further years of notice-and-comment rulemaking.