If you are in the trucking world, you know the acronym FMCSA, which, of course, stands for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They handle a lot of things and oversee many transportation-related issues. A lot of people may not realize exactly what the FMCSA does. And that’s why we’ll go over the various programs that they run. It can help to understand the many different programs they oversee, just so you know what they do.
Safety programs that the FMCSA runs
CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability).
The CSA program (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) is one part of the FMCSA. It is the program that is over enforcement of CMV safety regulations. And it also includes the Safety Measurement System (SMS). The SMS is the FMCSA’s performance-based system for determining where they should send their resources. They want to find out which are the higher-risk carriers so they know which ones need intervention.
Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
The FMCSA’s Clearinghouse for drug and alcohol violations is a database for employers to check if current or prospective employees have any violations that would prevent them from operating a CMV. It’s a relatively new thing, so you might still be getting used to it. It’s meant to make it easier to keep everything in one place where the appropriate people can access it. The intent is to make the roads safer.
Hazardous Materials Program.
The Hazardous Materials Program is another area overseen by the FMCSA. The HM program is intended to ensure compliance with the Hazardous Materials regulations. It gives industry information, training, and education about hazardous materials and how to transport them safely. It also gives information about emergency response. As a motor carrier, it’s important to understand hazardous materials regulations and safety.
The FMCSA also oversees the CDL Program, which creates national standards for testing, licensing, and disqualifying CDL drivers. It’s meant to make sure that the drivers who get CDLs are properly qualified to both get and keep the license. The licensing of commercial drivers is serious business, after all.
Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program.
The Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program is another facet of the FMCSA. It gives financial assistance to the states and sponsors their CMV enforcement efforts. The intent is to help lower the number of accidents and reduce the severity of accidents. The FMCSA wants to work with the states. Reducing the number of accidents takes everyone.
New Entrant Program.
The New Entrant Program is, as the name suggests, is for new carriers. It requires new CMV operators to register with the FMCSA before they start interstate operation. It also means that new entrants are subject to a safety audit. And they’ll be monitored for the first 18 months. The New Entrant Program is just one way the FMCSA strives to ensure safety.
Military Driver Program.
The FMCSA also has a Military Driver Program. It makes it easier for experienced military drivers to get a CDL and transition to a civilian transportation career. Not to mention that it’ll be quicker or less expensive. That’s why the program exists.
Protect Your Move.
This one is mostly concerning consumers, not CMV drivers, but it’s still overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It educates consumers on how to research interstate moving companies using FMCSA resources. It also informs people about moving fraud. So, FMCSA isn’t just helpful to CMV drivers. It can help consumers too.
So, those are the programs that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration runs. They oversee a lot of different areas. Their programs are all about safety, and they want to make the roads as safe as possible. That’s what they’re all about.
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