Fed group sets trucking agenda

Published June, 04 2009

A federal trucking safety committee’s national agenda includes advocating that the new entrant process be changed and that the transportation and homeland security departments better collaborate their efforts.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee accepted the task of Developing a National Agenda for Motor Carrier Safety at its December meeting. The workgroup was tasked with identifying FMCSA’s top safety challenges, including the two new issues.

Currently, a new trucking business entrant receives operating authority before FMCSA conducts a safety assessment, whether that is a roadside inspection, safety audit or compliance review. The committee said this needs to be changed and that the agency has said it would provide the committee with a new task to explore how to address it.

Also, the committee recommended the departments of Transportation and Homeland Security better communicate and coordinate motor carrier safety and security. Members asked the FMCSA to consider establishing an inter-departmental working group to facilitate this.
At its March 18 meeting, committee members identified enforcement, safety technologies, education/outreach and research as the agency’s top safety challenges.

The 15-member MCSAC committee is comprised of trucking and bus industry experts, safety advocates and safety enforcement sectors. It includes representatives from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, American Trucking Associations and Con-way Freight.