Vehicle Maintenance Practices Being Reviewed

December 6, 2018

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is requesting public comment on the role that vehicle maintenance plays in motor carrier safety. FMCSA is trying to determine what improvements, ranging from better compliance interventions to better vehicle maintenance requirements, would enhance motor carrier safety.

A 2014 study of FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability Safety Measurement System found that motor carriers targeted for intervention due to vehicle maintenance issues had a 65% higher crash rate compared to the national average.

In its request for comments, FMCSA notes that its current regulations require carriers to have a program to “systematically inspect, repair and maintain all motor vehicles and intermodal equipment subject to its control,” but “systematic” is not adequately defined.

FMSCA said the comments “will only be used to explore what areas of rulemaking and/or other areas, such as policy guidance and training, might be useful in the future.”

In addition, the Agency said it will share comments received with the Virginia Tech Transportation (VTTI) that is working on a study for FMCSA on maintenance issues that is expected to lead to recommended best practices, including minimum standards for inspection intervals, mechanic qualifications and training, and certification of maintenance facilities.