FMCSA may reward carriers for exceeding regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is looking to the public for their approval of an idea that would take into considerations a motor carrier’s “proactive voluntary implementation of state-of-the-art best practices and technologies” in the evaluation of a company’s safety efforts.

The “Beyond Compliance” program would reward carriers who implement voluntary safety programs that exceed the regulatory requirements, and have an end result of improved safety from drivers and commercial vehicles. “Improved safety” would be measured by a reduced number of and severity of accidents involving the company’s vehicles.

The FMCSA cites research conducted over the past decade had showed that an incentive-based approach would be more effective in improving motor carrier safety than the current system, which is penalty-based.

The FMCSA is seeking responses to specific questions, as well as any supporting data people believe the agency should consider while taking this matter under advisement and considering developing this new program.

Here are the specific questions FMCSA is seeking public response to in a 60-day comment period which will end June 22:

1) What voluntary technologies or safety program best practices would be appropriate for a Beyond Compliance?

2) What safety performance metrics should be used to evaluate the success of voluntarily implemented technologies or safety program best practices?

3) What incentives would encourage motor carriers to invest in technologies and best practices programs?

  1. Credit on appropriate SMS scores (e.g.,credit in Driver Fitness for use of an employer notification system)?
  2. Crediton ISS scores?
  3. Reduction in roadside inspection frequency?
  4. Other options?

4) What events should cause the incentives to be removed?

  1. If safety goals for the carrier are not consistently achieved, what is the benefit to the motoring public?

5) Should this program be developed by the private sector like PrePass, ISO 9000, or Canada’s Partners in Compliance (PIC)?

6) How would FMCSA verify that the voluntary technologies or safety programs were being implemented?


The FMCSA stated that while the incentives were yet to be determined, if the Beyond Compliance program does move forward, the program “would not result in regulatory relief.” This in short means that the exact incentives are yet to be announced or determined.

The overall purpose of this public request for comment is to see the viability of the program, and to determine whether it is indeed worthwhile, and to see if the public supports, a measure that would incentivize safety conscientiousness that exceeds federal regulations.

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