By: Natalie DeClusin, Attorney at Law
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – As of December 16, 2008, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) implemented a new rule, entitled the New Entrant Safety Assurance Process, with which all newly registered trucking and bus companies must comply. Under this rule, all safety deficiencies must be corrected before a company will be granted permanent registration with the FMCSA.
To accomplish this, the FMCSA puts newly registered companies through a rigorous 18 month trial period. During this period, a new company will automatically fail a safety audit if it violates any of 16 essential federal regulations [e.g. hours of operation, substance and alcohol testing, driver qualifications, etc.]. Unless the company takes adequate and timely remedial action, it will have its FMCSA registration revoked altogether if it fails any of these safety audits.
The new program is aimed at ensuring that all new companies are familiar with federal safety regulations, the ultimate goal being a decrease in the number of motor accidents involving commercial vehicles. Given their sheer size and weight, accidents involving commercial vehicles all too often result in the serious personal injury or death of unsuspecting motorists. Therefore, every effort must be made at the Federal and State level to decrease the frequency with which these devastating accidents occur. For more information on this and other FMCSA regulations, visit the their website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.
Natalie DeClusin is an associate attorney at Berman & Riedel, LLP, a personal injury firm with extensive experience in litigating commercial trucking and other automobile accident cases.