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

If you work anywhere in the trucking world, you’ve probably heard of the FMCSA, or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA is a big deal, but why is it so important? What exactly do they do, and why should you as a tow truck business care? We’ll explain the mission of the FMCSA, how they strive to achieve that mission, and what programs they oversee. Here goes!

What is the FMCSA?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the government agency that oversees and regulates safety for commercial motor vehicles. It’s basically the agency responsible for making sure that safety standards are upheld in the trucking industry. Their mission is the reduce the number of commercial truck-related accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The FMCSA came into existence in 2000 as part of the Department of Transportation. (This was per the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999.) Currently, the Administration employs upwards of 1,000 people nationwide.

The FMCSA strives toward this goal by…

  • Enforcing safety regulations
  • Focusing on high-risk carriers and drivers
  • Working on safety information systems and CMV technologies
  • Upholding high standards for commercial motor vehicle equipment
  • Raising awareness about safety
  • Working with Federal, State, and local law enforcement, the trucking industry as a whole, and groups focused on labor and safety

There are three objectives that drive the safety initiatives put forth by the FMCSA: raising the standard for businesses getting into the industry, maintaining high standards of safety that motor carriers have to adhere to in order to stay in the industry, and taking high-risk carriers out of the industry.

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What does the FMCSA do?

The FMCSA has a lot on their plate. They…

  • Create standards to license commercial drivers
  • Gather and distribute data on motor carrier safety
  • Have a program to improve safety and take high-risk carriers off the roads
  • Do research on the improvement of safety for motor carriers and drivers
  • Give states financial assistance for their roadside inspections and other safety initiatives
  • Support development of consistent motor carrier safety requirements throughout the US and participate in international committees regarding motor carrier safety
  • Regulate the transportation of hazardous materials
  • Investigate carriers of household goods who have a record of consumer abuse

Programs run by the FMCSA.

The FMCSA also runs many different programs in the interest of furthering the goal of safety for commercial vehicles.

Compliance, Safety, Accountability: Created to uphold compliance with safety regulations with such things as the Safety Measurement System (SMS), by which the FMCSA evaluates motor carrier performance so they can focus on the highest-risk carriers.

National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners: Creates a database of medical personnel who can conduct required medical examinations for CMV drivers.

Hazardous Materials Program: Provides safety information, training, and so on concerning the transportation of hazardous materials.

CDL Program: Gives information regarding the requirements and process to those interested in getting a CDL.

Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program: Helps states with their CMV safety measures by giving them financial aid.

New Entrant Program: For new motor carriers, who must be registered with the FMCSA before they start operating interstate, have a safety audit, and be monitored for their first 18 months.

That’s a basic overview of what hte FMCSA is and how they function. With their primary mission being to reduce the instances of injury, fatality, and wrecks concerning commercial vehicles and buses, the FMCSA regulates and oversees safety within the transportation industry. Since trucks and commercial vehicles are so integral to the country and the economy, it’s important to keep everyone – truck drivers and passenger vehicles alike – as safe as possible on the roadways.

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Get tow truck insurance quotes.

It’s also important for tow truck businesses to have the proper tow truck insurance. Our team of agents can help you get quotes for the coverage you need for your business. We strive to help towing businesses money on their insurance while making insurance as easy as possible. You can get started with your quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat. We’re here to help with your insurance needs.




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