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Notification of Changes in the New Entrant Safety Assurance Program Operational Test

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Notification of Changes in the New Entrant Safety Assurance Program Operational Test

T.F. Scott Darling, III
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
September 9, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 174 (Tuesday, September 9, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53511-53512]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-21424]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0298]


Notification of Changes in the New Entrant Safety Assurance 
Program Operational Test

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of changes to operational test.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces two changes to the New Entrant Safety 
Assurance Program Operational Test (Operational Test) discussed in the 
Agency's September 4, 2013, notice. First, the Agency will update the 
IT systems so that when an automatic failure violation (as listed in 49 
CFR 385.321) is identified by the Agency based on the records the motor 
carrier provides during the document submission process, the carrier 
will automatically fail the new entrant safety audit and be placed into 
the corrective action process. This is consistent with the current new 
entrant safety audit process for audits conducted at a motor carrier's 
principal place of business (PPOB). Second, the Agency will extend the 
Operational Test through December 2014 to ensure sufficient data is 
available to calculate the established metrics in order to make an 
informed decision on any future actions.

DATES: The changes take effect September 9, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2013-0298 using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the on-line 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 20590-0001.

[[Page 53512]]

     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room 
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 
5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number 
for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without 
change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12-140 
on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The on-line Federal document management system 
is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want 
acknowledgment that we received your comments, please include a self-
addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement 
page that appears after submitting comments on-line.
    Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 
You may review DOT's Privacy Act Statement for the Federal Docket 
Management System published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 
(73 FR 3316), or you may visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-785.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Joseph Bennett, Federal Motor 
Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC 20590, telephone: (202) 365-8324, email: joseph.bennett@dot.gov. If 
you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, 
call Ms. Barbara Hairston, Program Manager, Docket Operations, 202-366-
3024, Barbara.Hairston@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. New Entrant Safety Assurance Program Operational Test

    On September 4, 2013, FMCSA published a notice in the Federal 
Register announcing the New Entrant Safety Assurance Program 
Operational Test (78 FR 54510). The Agency indicated that the 
Operational Test began in July 2013 and will be in effect for up to 12 
months. The Operational Test procedures allow FMCSA to complete off-
site new entrant safety audits, defined as safety audits not conducted 
at the motor carrier's principal place of business (PPOB), of eligible 
new entrant motor carriers that can demonstrate basic safety management 
controls without going to the motor carrier's PPOB by reviewing 
specific compliance documentation submitted by the motor carrier as 
requested by FMCSA or its State partners.
    In July 2013, this Operational Test included California, Florida, 
Illinois, New York, Montana, and the Canadian Provinces contiguous to 
Montana and New York. In December 2013, the state of Alaska was added 
to the group of test states.
    The purpose of the Operational Test is to compare these off-site 
new entrant audits to the traditional new entrant safety audits 
conducted at the motor carriers' PPOB. The Agency is assessing each 
approach's impact on both resource allocation and subsequent safety 
performance of new entrant motor carriers.
    During the first nine months of the Operational Test, eligible new 
entrant motor carriers submitted requested documents to a new entrant 
safety auditor who subsequently reviewed the documentation and:
    (1) Prepared a report to document that the motor carrier has passed 
the new entrant safety audit; or,
    (2) Contacted the motor carrier to request additional documentation 
to determine whether the carrier satisfied the criteria for passing the 
audit; or
    (3) Scheduled a new entrant safety audit at the motor carrier's 
PPOB, as soon as practicable, based upon violations observed from the 
submitted documentation or the carrier's failure to submit adequate 
documentation.

II. Changes to the New Entrant Safety Assurance Program Operational 
Test

    Effective September 9, 2014, if during the examination of the 
submitted documentation, a safety auditor discovers automatic failure 
violation(s) as listed in 49 CFR 385.321, the motor carrier will fail 
the new entrant safety audit. The carrier will be placed into the 
corrective action process pursuant to 49 CFR 385.319(c) and if the 
carrier does not provide adequate corrective action it will be 
prohibited from operating in interstate commerce. FMCSA notes that the 
definition of ``safety audit'' under 49 CFR 385.3 does not limit the 
activity to on-site interventions as is the case with the definition of 
``compliance review.'' Therefore, the Agency has the discretion under 
existing regulations to fail carriers during the Operational Test 
without conducting an on-site safety audit.
    FMCSA believes this change needs to be made for the following 
reasons:
     This process is consistent with the current method 
concerning automatic failure violations for on-site new entrant audits;
     Since the Operational Test began, when automatic failure 
violations were discovered during the off-site document review process; 
many of those carriers still failed the follow-up new entrant safety 
audit conducted at their PPOB; and,
     Allowing a new entrant motor carrier known to be operating 
with an automatic failure violation(s) can pose a threat to public 
safety.

Based on the Agency's experience with the test to date, the Agency will 
monitor this change and compare the results and workload impacts to the 
earlier portion of the test. The evaluation will look at the relative 
workload of processing the additional corrective action submitted by 
motor carriers that fail the off-site audit and the resources needed to 
conduct on-site audits in these cases.
    In addition, FMCSA is extending the Operational Test through 
December 2014 to ensure sufficient data is available to calculate the 
established metrics in order to make an informed decision on any future 
actions.

    Issued on: August 29, 2014.
T.F. Scott Darling, III,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-21424 Filed 9-8-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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