The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration holds motor carriers and drivers responsible for meeting safety standards and regulations. FMCSA has their own safety compliance and enforcement program called CSA, which stands for Compliance, Safety, Accountability.
The FMCSA required drug and alcohol testing programs fall under Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations 49 CFR Part 40. Testing is required by the Omnibus Transportation Employees Testing Act of 1991 and by DOT and FMCSA regulations 49 CFR part 383.
On January 4, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established a Clearinghouse final rule which requires mandatory use of the Clearinghouse for employers to report and collect information about driver drug and alcohol violations.
This rule establishes requirements for the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which is an electronic database used for FMCSA regulated employers’ and individuals that will contain information regarding violations outlined in 49 CFR part 382.
The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that will give employers, FMCSA, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and State law enforcement personnel real-time access to important information about CDL driver drug and alcohol program violations..
FMCSA Safety Measurement System
Carriers can find their data stored on FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS), which they use to track the number, severity, and date of safety violations, as well as crash and inspection data. Data is also maintained for the number of vehicles a carrier owns and operates, as well as the miles that were traveled.
The FMCSA uses Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvements Categories (BASICs) to organize SMS data. Data is derived from the following categories, according to the CSA:
- Unsafe Driving- Violations include not wearing a seat belt, speeding, distracted driving, reckless driving, and improper lane changes
- Crash Indicator- A history of the drivers crash records (non-public) are reviewed
- Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance- Noncompliance with HOS regulations, including logbooks
- Vehicle Maintenance- Brakes, lights, defects, and failure to make repairs
- Controlled Substances/Alcohol- Use or possession of drugs and/or alcohol
- Hazardous Materials Compliance- Leaking containers, improper packaging
- Driver Fitness- Must be medically fit to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and hold a valid license
Once this data is derived, carriers are then grouped with others who have similar safety incidents, then a ranking system is used to determine prioritization for interventions that seek to help improve safety and maintain compliance.
FMCSA Applies to
If you operate any of the following types of commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce:
- A vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 lb or more, whichever is greater
- A vehicle designed or used to transport between 9 and 15 passengers (including the driver) for compensation
- A vehicle designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers
- Any size vehicle used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR chapter I, subchapter C).
FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Testing Requirements
- Pre-employment testing
- Reasonable suspicion testing
- Random selection
- Follow-up testing
- Post-accident testing
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