FMCSA proposes Safety Management System changes to prevent crashes

by Today's Trucking

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced proposed changes to its Safety Measurement System (SMS) to reduce and prevent crashes. The SMS uses data from roadside inspections, crash reports, and investigations to identify and prioritize for intervention the motor carriers that pose the greatest risk to safety.

As part of FMCSA’s commitment to improve how the agency uses data to focus enforcement, these proposed changes aim to better identify the companies needing the most intervention, and also will help companies better understand how to use this data to influence safer behaviors.


“Safety is FMCSA’s core mission. The proposed changes are part of the agency’s continued commitment to enhancing the fairness, accuracy, and clarity of our prioritization system,” said FMCSA administrator Robin Hutcheson in a news release.

Some of the proposed changes include: reorganizing the SMS’s safety categories (currently known as “BASICs”); organizing roadside violations into violation groups for prioritization purposes; simplifying violation severity weights; adjusting some of the intervention thresholds that identify companies for possible intervention; and more changes aimed at comparing similar motor carriers to each other.

A new website, the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) Prioritization Preview, which is now live, is the first phase of planned updates to the agency’s SMS. Motor carriers can visit the website to preview how their data would appear under the proposed changes. Companies are encouraged to preview these results and submit feedback on the proposed changes to FMCSA at the Federal Register website. Other users will be able to view sample pages. 

FMCSA encourages stakeholders to participate in the preview and submit their comments to the public docket. The 90-day comment period will begin on Feb. 15 and are due by May 16, 2023. FMCSA will hold four public online question and answer webinars, during which participants will be able to ask questions about the preview and proposed changes and receive real-time answers, time permitting. Registration is required.

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  • We’re already over regulated . How about educating the general populist how to behave and educate them about how commercial vehicles behavein certain situations before getting a lic. We have to know how to drive a car before we can drive a truck why not educate auto drivers what it takes to avoid a crash in the event they do something unintelligent.

  • When will the states and the Federal motor agency be held accountable for anything they do or not do that leaves a DRIVER shutdown or arrested for yall not doing your part. Case in point self certification you send it in or your Doctor sends it in then you get stopped 3 mouths down the road and they claim it’s not done. You are standing there with a copy in your hand then you are at fault. I am not a angel by any means but have worked very hard to legal and at top of MY feild .

  • The only way to prevent crashes is to look at what is causing the crashes. I have written FMCSA on various occasions to see what crash studies have been conducted and receive no response. The only agency that has done a study for causation is ATRI. I asked FMCSA if they have done sleep and fatigue studies for crashes and got no response. SMS and CSA have done nothing to reduce crashes and will not. Most crashes are the result of human behavior. Until someone can effectively modify human behaviors behind the wheel there will never be a significant reduction in crashes