FMCSA proposes Safety Management System changes to prevent crashes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced proposed changes to its Safety Measurement System (SMS) to reduce and prevent crashes. The SMS uses data from roadside inspections, crash reports, and investigations to identify and prioritize for intervention the motor carriers that pose the greatest risk to safety.

As part of FMCSA’s commitment to improve how the agency uses data to focus enforcement, these proposed changes aim to better identify the companies needing the most intervention, and also will help companies better understand how to use this data to influence safer behaviors.


“Safety is FMCSA’s core mission. The proposed changes are part of the agency’s continued commitment to enhancing the fairness, accuracy, and clarity of our prioritization system,” said FMCSA administrator Robin Hutcheson in a news release.

Some of the proposed changes include: reorganizing the SMS’s safety categories (currently known as “BASICs”); organizing roadside violations into violation groups for prioritization purposes; simplifying violation severity weights; adjusting some of the intervention thresholds that identify companies for possible intervention; and more changes aimed at comparing similar motor carriers to each other.

A new website, the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) Prioritization Preview, which is now live, is the first phase of planned updates to the agency’s SMS. Motor carriers can visit the website to preview how their data would appear under the proposed changes. Companies are encouraged to preview these results and submit feedback on the proposed changes to FMCSA at the Federal Register website. Other users will be able to view sample pages. 

FMCSA encourages stakeholders to participate in the preview and submit their comments to the public docket. The 90-day comment period will begin on Feb. 15 and are due by May 16, 2023. FMCSA will hold four public online question and answer webinars, during which participants will be able to ask questions about the preview and proposed changes and receive real-time answers, time permitting. Registration is required.

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