The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently released its strategic plan for the 2021-2023 fiscal years. This plan highlights long-term goals the FMCSA hopes to accomplish over the next three years and actions the agency will take in order to realize those goals. One major goal relates to safety, with the FMCSA focusing on reducing fatalities and injuries related to the operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). To accomplish this goal, the FMCSA outlined five strategic objectives:
- Promote a culture of CMV safety—To achieve this objective, the FMCSA will assist employers in proactively tracking and improving their safety performance management. It will also work with states and other Department of Transportation agencies to apply safety countermeasures on roadways with the highest potential for CMV fatalities.
- Reduce incidences of unsafe, high-risk behavior—To reduce unsafe behaviors, the FMCSA will focus on operational accountability and responsibility. In particular, the FMCSA will oversee medical programs, implement crash-reduction plans, and conduct outreach and education related to highway safety.
- Ensure only qualified drivers operate CMVs—As part of its objectives, the FMCSA aims to eliminate fraud in processes related to commercial driver’s license testing and licensing. In addition, the FMCSA will focus on preventing drivers who have tested positive for drugs or alcohol from driving CMVs.
- Improve safety oversight efficiency and effectiveness—To support this objective, the FMCSA will identify and share the primary contributing factors of CMV crashes. The FMCSA will also prioritize countermeasures and solutions to improve the quality and consistency of investigations and audits.
- Prevent unsafe carriers from reestablishing themselves as new entities—In the 2021-2023 fiscal years, the FMCSA will seek to prevent carriers that have been deemed unsafe from reestablishing themselves as new entities. These carriers present extreme safety risks, as their primary aim is to circumvent FMCSA safety regulations. Keeping these unsafe carriers off the roads can improve overall safety and saves lives.