Enhanced Investigative Techniques Increase Audit Criteria for High Risk Drivers

Posted on December 20, 2016

by Andrew in Transportation News, Trucking Regulatory Compliance, Trucking Safety | 0 comments

slide3The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is cracking down on drivers by holding them accountable to audit requirements instigated in 2013 under “Operation Quick Strike.” The initial phase of Operation Quick Strike targeted bus and motorcoach companies and was successful at shutting down companies it found to be out of compliance. Today’s model is a performance-based program that is being rolled out to trucking companies, including fleets, and focuses more on current problems rather than following up on prior out-of-compliance ratings.

Here are some of the changes in the way the FMCSA is doing audits.

  1. Audits include a broader range of fleet personnel, including accounting, sales, and drivers as well as checking social media.
  2. Ranking in the unsafe driving, hours of service compliance or crash indicator basic must be 90 or higher, a change from a rating of 85.
  3. The FMCSA has added a “Part C” to the audit, reserved for the auditor’s notes, the method of operation of the audit and other details of the audit not listed in Parts A or B. Parts A and B are routinely released to the driver, but drivers need to request Part C, citing the Freedom of Information Act.
  4. Unsafe Driving criteria are being added to the audit for the first time. This includes speeding ticket information, following too close, or other minor driving violations will be used in the new rating system.
  5. E-logs will also be included in the audit. An explosion of information and data. E-logs will be used to request other documents that support the audit.
  6. While not currently included in the audit, the FMCSA is considering including a “Safety Fitness Determination” criteria in the future.

If a driver is deemed “high-risk”, they will be rated “Conditional.” Under the new criteria, the FMCSA has increased the investigation, intervention and “out-of-service” orders. And, since shippers and brokers have access to a driver’s rating, a Conditional designation could have a major financial impact on a trucking company. For more on transportation news and risk management, contact us.

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