Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers: Fitness Determination Rule

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Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims Injured in Truck AccidentsIn January of 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a safety fitness determination (SFD) rule that determined whether a motor carrier was considered fit to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

After some controversy, and push back from national transportation groups, as well as state and regional associations, the FMCSA decided to withdraw the rule. They will also terminate plans for a supplemental notice of proposed rule making (SNPRM).

Under the FMCSA rule, a motor carrier’s fitness to operate a CMV would be based upon the following:

  • The carrier’s on-road safety data
  • A thorough investigation
  • A combination of the two

Industry Organizations Oppose the Rule

In February of this year, a group of transportation groups, along with state and regional associations, came together to issue a joint letter calling for the withdrawal of the SFD rule. The letter, which was sent to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, said that the FMCSA’s SFD rulemaking was based on flawed data that had been taken from the FMCSA’s Compliance Safety and Accountability program (CSA) and Safety Measurement System (SMS).

According to groups that contributed to the letter, the organizations support the concept of a safety fitness determination system, particularly one that is rational and easy to understand, but not one that is based on a system that is currently undergoing congressional review and reform. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) also found the flawed system troubling. One ATA official commented that an unfit rating is typically applied to the least safe fleets in the industry. Unfortunately, the FMCSA does not have enough data for the majority of the industry, so they should not have the power to determine an unfit rating.

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) also commented that safety determinations are important, but they must be based on accurate information. They called the current FMCSA rule “incomprehensible” and “discriminant,” and said that it allowed for some carriers to have a competitive advantage over others. Therefore, the TCA would not support the rule.

After a considerable time spent reviewing the matter, the FMCSA decided to withdraw the NPRM and the SNPRM as it applies to the SFD rule. The agency noted that further analysis will be required to determine whether additional efforts will be necessary to revise the safety fitness rule in the future.

Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims Injured in Truck Accidents

If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, you are urged to contact the highly skilled Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We have a thorough understanding of the trucking industry, including the latest rules and regulations as they apply to truckers and carriers. We will examine the details of your case so that we can recommend the best legal course of action. Our dedicated team will aggressively pursue the maximum financial compensation for your injuries. We will continue to fight for you until justice has been served. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.