FMCSA changing how it identifies unsafe carriers

he Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration plans to change the way it evaluates trucking company safety by upgrading its current ranking model as opposed to installing a new one.

In a notice to be published Wednesday, FMCSA announced it has determined that an advanced statistical model known as Item Response Theory (IRT) — a model touted by the National Academy of Sciences — is “overly complex,” and therefore the agency would not be using it to regulate carrier safety.

Instead, FMCSA has committed to improving its own Safety Management System (SMS) as the way it labels carriers with the highest crash risk and those not fit to operate…

FMCSA summarized the proposed improvements to SMS as:

Reorganized and updated safety categories, including new segmentation.
Consolidated violations.
Simplified violation severity weights.
Proportionate percentiles instead of safety event groups.
Improved intervention thresholds.
Greater focus on recent violations.
Updated utilization factor.