Screenshot of FMCSA's preview site for proposed SMS changes.

Screenshot of FMCSA's preview site for proposed SMS changes.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced a set of proposed changes to its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program and is seeking comment on the proposals via a special website it's set up to show motor carriers how the changes would affect their safety ratings.

The notice, published in the Federal Register for Oct. 5, lays out the enhancements the agency want to make to information on its public Safety Measurement System (SMS) website. It also responds to comments FMCSA has received in response to its earlier notice (published on June 29, 2015) on proposed future SMS enhancements.

While the Federal Register announcement responds to comments received following the June 29, 2015, notice, no changes will be implemented in the public SMS website display until after completion of the National Academies of Sciences Correlation Study, as required by the FAST Act highway bill.  

The two newly proposed changes call for increasing the minimum number of crashes needed for determining whether a carrier receives a score in the Crash Indicator BASIC from two to three and assigning BASIC percentile ratings only to carriers that have had an inspection with a violation in the past year vs. within the current 24-month period.

The proposed enhancements are now available for previewing on the special website. FMCSA is seeking public comment on the changes based on viewing the preview site. Comments must be received by December 3, 2016.

FMCSA also said it will be holding public sessions at which industry stakeholders will be able to ask questions about the proposed SMS enhancements and the preview site.

To support the Q&A sessions, FMCSA has developed a video presentation that outlines the proposed changes and how to use the preview website. Before joining an online Q&A session, participants can view the video along with other reference materials available in the SMS Preview Help Center.

Each session will end once all questions related to the preview have been answered. The Agency encourages stakeholders to submit questions ahead of time via the Compliance, Safety, Accountability feedback form.

The Q&A sessions will be presented four times:

  • Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 10:00–11:30 a.m. EDT
  • Thursday, October 13, 2016, 2:00–3:30 p.m. EDT
  • Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 3:00–4:30 p.m. EDT
  • Thursday, October 20, 2016, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. EDT

Comments on the proposed SMS enhancements bearing Docket ID FMCSA-2015-0149 may be submitted via any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal:  Go to Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

Click here for more information on the proposals and preview site.