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Beyond Compliance Program

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Beyond Compliance Program

T.F. Scott Darling, III
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
April 23, 2015

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 78 (Thursday, April 23, 2015)]
[Pages 22770-22772]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-09463]

[[Page 22770]]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0124]

Beyond Compliance Program

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

ACTION: Notice; request for public comment.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Transportation and motor carriers have 
invested millions of dollars in research, development, and 
implementation of strategies and technologies to reduce truck and bus 
crashes. FMCSA is evaluating the impacts of considering a company's 
proactive voluntary implementation of state-of-the-art best practices 
and technologies when evaluating the carrier's safety. FMCSA requests 
responses to specific questions and any supporting data the Agency 
should consider in the potential development of a Beyond Compliance 
program. Beyond Compliance would include voluntary programs implemented 
by motor carriers that exceed regulatory requirements, and improve the 
safety of commercial motor vehicles and drivers operating on the 
Nations' roadways by reducing the number and severity of crashes. 
Beyond Compliance would not result in regulatory relief.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before June 22, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0124 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.
     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 online 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 acknowledgment 
page that appears after submitting comments on-line.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information 
the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the 
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bill Mahorney, Chief, Enforcement 
Division, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, Telephone 202-493-0000, E-Mail: 


FMCSA Research

    During the past 10 years, FMCSA, Canada, Australia, and other 
countries have completed studies that provided information on Beyond 
Compliance programs and technology. For example, the FMCSA ``Driver 
Notification Feasibility Study,'' tested the use of an Employer 
Notification System (ENS) versus the current annual requirement for 
obtaining a driver motor vehicle record and reviewing the driver 
qualification files for violations. This report found that when 
registered carriers in that study received near real-time notification 
that a driver had been issued a citation, conviction or commercial 
driver's license disqualification, they took action. This study 
estimated that Nationwide implementation of ENS could prevent 6,828 
crashes and 88 fatalities annually.\1\ In addition, in 2005, the Agency 
completed additional studies on roll stability control systems \2\ and 
tire pressure sensors \3\ that demonstrate the safety benefits of these 
technologies. Likewise, a 2009 FMCSA study, ``Analysis of Benefits and 
Costs of Lane Departure Warning Systems for the Trucking Industry,'' 
\4\ predicted a reduction of 1,973 injuries and 100 fatalities annually 
through use of that technology. This report projected that for each $1 
spent on this technology, the return on investment was $1.98.

    \1\ Smith, M., Owens, N., Stock, D., Lantz, B., Murray, D. and 
Sensiba, G. 2005. Driver Violation Notification Service Feasibility 
Study. Prepared by Science Applications International Corporation 
for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, USDOT.
    \2\ Murray, D., S. Shackelford and A. Houser. Analysis of 
Benefits and Costs of Roll Stability Control Systems for the 
Trucking Industry. Publication FMCSA-RRT-09-020. Federal Motor 
Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 
    \3\ FMCSA. July 2005. Technical Brief: Commercial Motor Vehicle 
Tire Pressure Sensors. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 
U.S. Department of Transportation.
    \4\ Murray, D., S. Shackelford and A. Houser. Analysis of 
Benefits and Costs of Lane Departure Warning Systems for the 
Trucking Industry. Publication FMCSA-RRT-09-022. Federal Motor 
Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 

    Additionally, in development of the Agency's Compliance, Safety, 
Accountable program, FMCSA conducted six listening sessions. In those 
sessions, it was agreed that an incentive-based approach to improving 
carrier safety would be a more effective tool than the current penalty-
based system.

Transportation Research Board (TRB)

    In 2007, the TRB explored the potential for integrating 
certification programs with regulatory frameworks.\5\ The TRB research 
suggested that a pilot program for Beyond Compliance activities, 
certification, and identification of best practices be conducted. The 
2007 report concluded that Beyond Compliance programs could provide 
significant incentives for carriers to adopt best practices. However, 
that study recommended additional research was needed to determine the 
level of effectiveness that a Beyond Compliance approach would have on 

    \5\ Bergoffen, G., Short, J., Inderbitzen, B. and Daecher, C. 
2007. Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis 12: Commercial Motor 
Vehicle Carrier Safety Management Certification. Transportation 
Research Board.

    On April 3, 2014, TRB's Truck and Bus Safety Research Committee 
published its ``Overview of Truck and Bus Safety Research Needs,'' 
which included a request for implementation of a Beyond Compliance 
pilot test to ``Develop, evaluate and promote new safety strategies, 
including technology applications, for appropriate carriers using 
discrete incentives or inducements, such as tax credits or exemptions 
relating to FMCSA's

[[Page 22771]]

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) system.'' \6\

    \6\ http://rns.trb.org/dproject.asp?n=36343.

American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI)

    In January 2011, the American Transportation Research Institute 
(ATRI) released a report titled, ``Assessing the Benefits of 
Alternative Compliance.'' \7\ The ATRI research was premised on the 
hypothesis that new approaches were needed to achieve the next 
significant improvement in the national highway safety statistics. The 
ATRI report identified possible alternatives for giving credit against 
things like Behavior Analysis System Improvement Category (BASIC) 
scores, based on motor carrier activities that are believed to provide 
safety and/or crash reduction benefits. In its analysis, ATRI 
considered carrier safety data for pre- and post-Compliance Review time 
periods. These were cross-factored by fleet sizes to determine the 
safety impact and significance of existing versus emerging safety 
compliance. Carrier Compliance Reviews and out-of-service rates were 
examined based on the safety rating received and carrier size to 
determine whether a Beyond Compliance program would benefit certain 
fleet sizes. Previous pre- and post-Compliance Review crash rate data 
were examined to identify carriers most affected by traditional 
compliance activities.

    \7\ ``Assessing the Benefits of Alternative Compliance,'' 
January 2011, Daniel C. Murray, Steve Keppler, Micah Lueck, Katie 
Fender, American Transportation Research Institute, St. Paul, MN.

    The ATRI report also considered implementation methods such as the 
Inspection Selection System (ISS). ATRI hypothesized that participation 
in a Beyond Compliance program could mean that a carrier would be 
provided with a 20 point leeway on the ISS inspection value. For 
example, an original ISS score of 60 would be modified by 20 points 
resulting in a new value of 40. Therefore, the Beyond Compliance 
program would be used as a reward system for carriers. The ATRI report 
also proposed credit in FMCSA's Safety Measurement System (SMS) for 
voluntary participation. ATRI also proposed other incentives beyond 
FMCSA's jurisdiction, including insurance costs decreases and tax 

Other Programs

    FMCSA is aware of other non-governmental safety-related programs 
that have been voluntarily implemented by some motor carriers because 
they resulted in cost savings and safety benefits. These include, but 
are not limited to:
     North American Fatigue Management Program;
     ISO 9000;
     National Private Truck Council's Best Practices Program;
     North American Transportation Management Institute's 
(NATMI) Certification Program;
     Partners in Compliance (PIC);
    Outside of the United States, FMCSA is aware of the successful 
implementation of the Maintenance Management Accreditation Scheme, the 
Australian Trucking Association's TruckSafe Program, and the Canadian 
Standards Association Safety Management System, which all encourage 
voluntary best practices and safety improvement programs.

FMCSA's Waiver, Exemption, and Pilot Programs

    FMCSA is not considering regulatory relief as part of the Beyond 
Compliance program, because the Agency already has an existing process 
for seeking waivers for up to 90 days, applying for exemptions of up to 
2 years (which can be renewed), and pilot programs that may run for up 
to 3 years. Through each of these processes, the Agency can provide 
relief from certain safety regulations as long as the terms and 
conditions of the waiver, exemption or pilot program ensure a level of 
safety equivalent to or greater than what would be achieved through 
compliance with the safety regulations. These processes are explained 
in 49 CFR part 381.
    A pilot program is a formal project established by FMCSA in 
accordance with Part 381 to test the effectiveness of certain safety 
strategies or technologies, using a group of carriers and/or drivers. A 
pilot program includes relief from specified regulations during the 
life of the pilot program, up to 3 years, to allow testing of 
alternatives. Part 381 includes formal requirements for a pilot 
    While FMCSA is not considering waivers, exemptions, and pilot 
programs as Beyond Compliance, the Agency welcomes the opportunity to 
work with the private sector to conduct demonstration projects. A 
demonstration project is an informal effort, to show that certain 
safety strategies can be effective in reducing crashes. Individual 
carriers or groups of carriers may design and implement their own 
demonstration projects, or voluntarily participate in any sponsored by 

Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) Tasking

    On March 30, 2015, FMCSA tasked the MCSAC with providing 
recommendations to the Agency on the potential benefits and feasibility 
of voluntary compliance and ways to credit carriers and drivers who 
initiate and establish programs that promote safety beyond the 
standards established in FMCSA regulations.
    The Agency specifically asked for the views of the MCSAC on this 
concept, with any data or analysis to support it with regard to 3 basic 
    1. What voluntary technologies or safety program best practices 
would be appropriate for beyond compliance?
    2. What type of incentives would encourage motor carriers to invest 
in technologies and best practices programs?
    3. How would FMCSA verify the voluntary technologies or safety 
programs were being implemented?
    Per the tasking to the MCSAC, a letter report should be provided to 
the Administrator outlining recommendations on incentives for increased 
safety compliance by the MCSAC's June 2015 meeting.

Request for Comments

    In determining possible development of a Beyond Compliance program, 
FMCSA seeks responses to the following specific questions and 
encourages the submission of any other reports or data on this issue.
    1. What voluntary technologies or safety program best practices 
would be appropriate for a Beyond Compliance program?
    2. What safety performance metrics should be used to evaluate the 
success of voluntarily implemented technologies or safety program best 
    3. What incentives would encourage motor carriers to invest in 
technologies and best practices programs?
    a. Credit on appropriate SMS scores (e.g., credit in Driver Fitness 
for use of an employer notification system)?
    b. Credit on ISS scores?
    c. Reduction in roadside inspection frequency?
    d. Other options?
    4. What events should cause the incentives to be removed?
    a. If safety goals for the carrier are not consistently achieved, 
what is the benefit to the motoring public?
    5. Should this program be developed by the private sector like 
PrePass, ISO 9000, or Canada's Partners in Compliance (PIC)?

[[Page 22772]]

    6. How would FMCSA verify that the voluntary technologies or safety 
programs were being implemented?

    Issued on: April 17, 2015.
T.F. Scott Darling, III,
Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2015-09463 Filed 4-22-15; 8:45 am]

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