As we often say within the industries we serve: continuous improvement leads to increased safety. With that in mind, as part of FMCSA’s work toward reaching U.S. DOT’s goal of zero roadway fatalities and serious injuries, the agency looks for opportunities to continually improve SMS (safety management systems) and the decision-making processes critical to safety.
What that means in 2023 is that FMCSA is proposing some changes connected to improving how we use data to make roads safer. According to the agency, the proposed changes were informed by their commitment to three guiding principles: fairness, accuracy, and clarity.
All that is to say that FMCSA wants to hear from you as they seek public input on the proposed changes. You can do that easily by visiting the landing page they’ve set up just for that purpose.
Among a variety of options available on the page to help educate you on the changes, you can easily click through and learn more about: Reorganized “Basics” | Reorganized Roadside Violations | Simplified Severity Weights | Improved Intervention Thresholds | Proportionate Percentiles | Greater Focus on Recent Violations | Updated Utilization Factor | New Segmentation | Accounting for Not Preventable Crashes.
The site also provides data from a sample carrier.
The Roll Out
FMCSA is planning to roll out the overall process in three phases. The first phase includes the Preview in discussion here—which, again, is an attempt to allow industry stakeholders a chance to log in and not only see if they would be prioritized under the new methodology, but submit public comments about the proposed changes.
The second phase will involve revising the prioritization, whereby FMCSA will carefully review all public comments and incorporate recommendations that align with the agency’s safety mission into the final methodology. And the third phase will involve FMCSA finalizing the methodology, which will then be used by FMCSA enforcement to help determine which motor carriers to prioritize for CSA Interventions.
As for how it all could affect your SMS results? You can preview your own carrier data by logging in to view your results under the proposed methodology. Q&A webinars are also available on the website via links to specific days and times.