Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is an agency in the Department of transport that is charged with the responsibility of issuance, administration, and enforcement of safety regulations and hazardous materials regulations in the United States of America. The FMCSA was established as a separate agency in the department of transportation on January of the year 2000. The Agency is the regulator for the trucking industry.
The main functions of FMCSA include developing and enforcing data-driven regulations in the trucking and bus companies to balance safety and efficiency. They also bridle wellbeing data framework to concentrate on higher hazard transporters in implementing the security controls. They also offer education on road safety to commercial drivers and the general public. In their effort to reduce crashes, they have partnered with the local enforcement agencies and the motor industry.
The headquarters for FMCSA is located at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590 and employs over 1000 people all over the country. The FMCSA can be reached through their website (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov). The FMCSA have five different number from which they can be contacted depending on the purpose of placing the call. Those seeking to get information regarding U.S DOT numbers, Status of DOT numbers, Operating Authority information, Safety ratings, Licensing information, Insurance Information can use the number 1-800-832-5660 to reach FMCSA. For those who have customer complaints on; household goods, Passenger Carrier (Motorcoach/Bus/van), Hazardous Materials, Safety, or driver can reach the FMCSA through the number 1-888-DOT-SAFT OR 1-888-368-7238.
For those looking to contact the FMCSA for purposes of Federal Relay Service for TTY, the number 1-800-877-8339 is the most convenient. Members of the public who seek to share road safety can do so via the number 202-493-0472. The NHTSA hotline number is 1-888-DASH-2-DOT or 1-888-327-4236. It should be noted that the FMCSA business hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 pm ET, M-F.
With an annual budget of US$ 668 million, the FMCSA has three main programs. The first is the Compliance, Safety Accountability (CSA).The program oversees the performance of carriers through roadside inspections. They rely on Safety Measurement Scores (SMS) to identify the non-compliant companies to prioritize in their inspection. The reason for this being that a number of commercial driver license holders outnumber the number of FMCSA officials by a huge margin, it would be difficult for the FMCSA officials to carry out an effective inspection of all the vehicles.
The second program is the hours of Study and driver restart study. The program seeks to reduce the instances of driver fatigue. The rule sought to maximize the drivers weekly work and limit the restart to once a week (Ferro 2010). Congress, however, had suspended that provision forcing the FMCSA to conduct research on the effectiveness of the 34-hour restart provision.
The National Registry is the final program being undertaken by the FMCSA. The FMCSA requires that all medical examiners who conduct physical examinations on commercial truck drivers to get the approval of the FMCSA through getting training from the FMCSA and passing the test. It also required that commercial truck drivers must redo testing to have their license renewed (Olson 2009).
The FMCSA regulations cover all commercial vehicles that cross state lines. If a vehicle remains within the state lines i.e. it doesn't go outside the state then it must abide by the state-equivalent motor carrier safety regulations.
Ferro, A. S. (2010). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Olson, R. L., Hanowski, R. J., Hickman, J. S., & Bocanegra, J. L. (2009). Driver distraction in commercial vehicle operations (No. FMCSA-RRR-09-042).
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