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FMCSR Expert:
How the FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Measurement System (SMS) was Redesigned

Truck Accident & Safety Expert Witness Articles

By Scott Greene

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program’s carrier rankings site known as the Safety Measurement System (SMS) has been redesigned and has some new features.

FMSCA Regulations Expert Witness

One Stop Motor Carrier Shopping!

The new website, which went live August 2, 2014 indicates that it is: “… your one-stop-shop for public motor carrier safety data.”

FMCSA says the changes to the site are an attempt to better highlight elements of the SMS that correlate with crash risk and to make the site easier for carriers to see how they can improve their scores. According to the site: “SMS uses this information to identify motor carriers that pose the greatest risk to safety for interventions.” FMCSA also indicates the site makes it easier for third parties or members of the public who use the system to interpret the SMS rankings.

The site contains significant amounts of educational material targeting: Drivers, Motor Carriers and Enforcement. The site says: “There are 5 million truck and bus drivers sharing the road with more than 250 million motorists. With stakes so high, it’s essential that everyone Get Road Smart. We can’t do it without you.”

FMCSA says changes to the site are an attempt to better highlight elements of the SMS that correlate with crash risk. In addition, along with the enhanced educational aspect of the site, the site makes it easier for carriers to see how they can improve their scores. FMCSA also wants the site to make it easier for third parties or members of the public who use the system to interpret the SMS rankings.

The rankings are based upon the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). Significant changes to the site and SMS include: Reordering BASIC listings so the categories that correlate most with crash risk are at the top. Highlighting carriers’ absolute performance trends in each category rather than percentile rankings. Diminishing the prominence of a Motor Carrier’s SMS rankings or scores by moving the rankings from the Motor Carrier’s summary to deeper within its profile.

Motor Carrier Safety Education

FMCSA is also offering three webinars to help motor carriers and drivers learn about the implemented changes and how to use the SMS.

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