What is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)?

Truckers and motor carriers are subject to a lot of regulations and a lot of rules. The FMCSA is the government entity that motor carriers have to know about, as it’s responsible for overseeing safety for commercial motor vehicles. So, FMCSA is a big deal in the trucking world, but why? It’s helpful to know exactly what the FMCSA does and the role it plays in the grand scheme of trucking. Here’s how that works.

What is the FMCSA?

The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) was created on January 1, 2000. The Motor Carrier Improvement Act of 1999 set it into motion. It was part of the Federal Highway Administration. Its major goal is to prevent commercial motor vehicle accidents, injuries, and deaths. They are responsible for:

  • Enforcing safety-related regulations for trucking
  • Identifying high-risk carriers and drivers
  • Making safety information systems better
  • Keeping standards for commercial motor vehicles’ equipment
  • Raising awareness of safety and regulations

As a part of the Department of Transportation, the FMCSA allies with federal, state, and even local law enforcement as well as the trucking industry and labor groups involved in trucking.

insurancehub get insurance quote

The mission of the FMCSA.

The FMCSA’s mission is to lessen the number of truck and bus crashes, thus lowering the number of truck and bus-related injuries and fatalities. They’re responsible for regulating and overseeing commercial motor vehicles. They uphold their mission by enforcing their regulations, educating motor carriers and drivers, conducting research, exploring technology, and developing partnerships.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a few very important safety objectives. Those objectives are:

  • To raise the bar for entering the trucking industry
  • To set high standards for motor carriers to stay in the trucking industry
  • To take risky carriers out of the trucking industry

What does the FMCSA do?

The FMCSA handles a lot of different trucking-related activities. The FMCSA…

Handles standards for CDLs: The FMCSA creates standards for testing and licensing for drivers of commercial motor vehicles.

Collects/Analyzes data: The administration collects and distributes data about the safety of motor carriers. They also provide various resources to assist motor carriers with safety.

Regulates and enforces laws: FMCSA strives to improve safety and take high-risk carriers off the road.

Researches: They also conduct research to aid in the improvement of safety.

Assists states with safety: FMCSA helps states with motor vehicle safety by giving financial aid.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration doesn’t stop there, though. They’re also in support of creating universal motor carrier safety requirements. They also take part in international committees about motor carrier safety worldwide. The FMCSA also enforces regulations concerning the safe transport of hazardous materials.

What programs does the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration run?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration runs several programs to help improve safety on the roads. These programs are…

CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability): Enforces compliance with CMV safety with the SMS (Safety Measurement System), allowing the administration to direct resources towards the highest-risk carriers and prioritize them for intervention.

National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners: Provides CMV drivers with a database of trained medical professionals who can do required medical exams.

Hazardous Materials Program: Gives the industry information and training on how to safely transport hazardous materials.

CDL: Explains how to get a state-issued Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program: Gives financial assistance to the states so they can lower the number and severity of accidents by supporting efforts to enforce regulations concerning CMVs.

New Enforcement Program: Stipulates that CMV operators must register with the FMCSA before they go interstate and also requires 18 months of safety monitoring and auditing for new entrants.

Now, clearly the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a lot on its plate, but that’s a general idea of what they do and how they oversee the trucking industry. As a trucking business, it’s important that you’re familiar with the FMCSA’s regulations.

insurancehub get insurance quote

It’s also important that you have the right truck insurance to protect your trucking business. Our team of transportation insurance agents can help you get the coverage you need to protect your business from the risks you face. Get started with your quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.