FMCSA to Shut Down Carriers Based on Executives’ Past Safety Violations

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has finalized a rule to allow officials to shut down trucking companies based on patterns of safety violations by the company or its leaders.

Under the Patterns of Safety Violation rule, FMCSA will be able to revoke a carrier’s operating authority if the carrier or a company officer “has a history of purposely violating federal safety regulations,” the agency said in a Jan. 17 statement.

“The rule is one of the new enforcement tools that the agency has developed in recent years to target high-risk carriers that endanger travelers by avoiding or covering up their negative history of safety compliance,” FMCSA said, adding that it will only use its new power in “egregious” cases.

The rule fulfills a mandate Congress gave FMCSA in transportation law MAP-21.

When the agency first proposed the rule in 2012, trucking industry representatives supported the concept but warned that the vague guidelines perhaps allow officials to enforce it too broadly. In response, FMCSA added clarity to the final rule.

FMCSA published the final rule in the Federal Register Jan. 22. It will become effective Feb. 21.