The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Safety Requirements for New Truck, Bus Companies Raised

December 23, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) this month began enforcing its New Entrant Safety Assurance Process rule, which requires newly registered truck and bus companies to meet stricter safety requirements. 

This final rule raises the compliance standards for passing new entrant safety audits and requires that new carriers correct safety deficiencies before being granted permanent registration. 

"This new rule helps to ensure that only the safest carriers can enter the industry and continue to operate on our roadways," said Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "By strengthening the new entrant process, our agency supports new carriers as they establish and maintain critical safety management controls that enable them to operate in full compliance with federal safety regulations." 

Under the new requirements, a newly registered truck or bus company will automatically fail its safety audit if violations of any one of 16 essential federal regulations are discovered. These regulations cover controlled substances and alcohol testing, hours-of-service rules, driver qualifications, vehicle condition and carrier insurance responsibility.

Failure to pass a new entrant safety audit may result in revocation of a carrier's registration, unless that carrier takes corrective action within a time period established by FMCSA. 

Additionally, if certain violations are discovered during roadside inspections, the new carrier may be subject to an expedited safety audit or a compliance review that can result in fines or an out-of-service order. 

For more information on the New Entrant Safety Assurance Process rule, visit the FMCSA website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov

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