Today FMCSA announced its 2012-2016 Strategic Plan, which according to FMCSA presents a new comprehensive direction for the agency that places safety as the highest priority and employs three core principles:
- Raising the bar to entry as a motor carrier (trucking or bus company)
- Requiring motor carriers and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to maintain high safety standards
- Removing high-risk motor carriers and CMV drivers from interstate transportation.
The responsibilities of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) fall into two main categories:
- Creating and enforcing rules and regulations for commercial carriers (trucking and bus companies) and drivers in an effort to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities involving 18-wheelers, buses and other commercial vehicles; and
- Managing registration and licensing procedures for commercial carriers and drivers.
Through rulemaking and better enforcement, FMCSA expects to produce the following outcomes:
- Prevent bus and commercial truck accidents that cause injuries and death;
- Prevent bad companies from reincarnating to operate, which has become a pervasive problem;
- Ensure only qualified semi drivers are behind the wheel of a semi truck, bus or other CMV;
- Address safety issues of a greater segment of the industry;
- Reduce the number of unsafe and high risk behaviors, particularly driving without adequate sleep and aggressive driving;
- Increase the number of fleets incorporating a driver-focused safety culture centered on driver risk factors, including health, wellness, safety, and fatigue management programs;
- Increase market penetration of on-board safety systems (e.g., adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, crash imminent braking, and stability control systems); and
- Increase deployment of electronic data exchange and smart roadside technologies.