The proposed rule will eliminate the existing three-category rating system of “satisfactory-conditional-unsatisfactory” in favor of a single determination of “unfit.”
Unlike the current system, which is based entirely on the FMCSA’s on-site investigation, the proposed safety fitness determinations will be based on roadside inspection, on-site investigations, or a combination of the two.
While the proposed rule does afford carriers that receive the “unfit” rating the opportunity to petition the FMCSA to upgrade the rating in limited circumstances, carriers whose proposed ratings become final will be prohibited from operating commercial motor vehicles in interstate or intrastate commerce.
According to the proposed rule, the FMCSA will assess carriers on a monthly basis using fixed failure metrics for each of the seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (“BASICs”). Carriers that fail two or more of the BASICs in a given month will receive a proposed “unfit” rating. BASIC failures can stem from:
1. On-road safety data exceeding the “absolute failure standards” of a given BASIC
3. Some combination of the two
The proposed “absolute failure standards” for each BASIC differ from the current intervention thresholds in that they would reflect the carriers’ own performance against the failure standard and would not be impacted by other carriers’ performance.