NEW: FMCSA Policy on the Timeliness of New Entrant Corrective Action Submissions

This new policy concerns New Entrants who have failed their Safety Audit.

Policy

FMCSA must receive a new entrant motor carrier’s corrective action plan within 15 days of the date of a new entrant safety audit failure notice or within 10 days of the date of an expedited action notice, in order to ensure adequate time for review. Otherwise, the motor carrier risks having its registration* revoked and being placed out of service.** FMCSA has observed that a number of new entrant carriers have waited until the end of the corrective action periods established in 49 CFR 385.308(b) and 385.319(c) to submit evidence of corrective action, leaving Agency officials little to no time for review. However, § 385.308 requires the carrier to submit evidence demonstrating corrective action within 30 days. Similarly, § 385.325(a) requires the new entrant to submit evidence that is acceptable to FMCSA within the specified corrective action period. If Agency officials do not have sufficient time for review, the Agency cannot make a determination within the appropriate time period as to whether evidence of corrective action has been properly demonstrated, as required by § 385.308, or is acceptable, as required by § 385.325(a).

If FMCSA receives evidence of corrective action within 15 days of the date of the new
entrant safety audit failure notice or within 10 days of the date of the expedited action notice, Agency officials will either review and make a decision on whether it is acceptable before the end of the corrective action period or, in the case of new entrant safety audit failures, grant an extension of time to complete the review if the Agency determines that the motor carrier is making a good faith effort to remedy deficiencies. The Agency will not grant an extension in the case of an expedited action notice or for motor carriers that transport passengers or hazardous materials, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5

If FMCSA receives evidence of corrective action more than 15 days after the date of the new entrant safety audit failure notice or more than 10 days after the date of the expedited action notice, the Agency will not guarantee that the evidence will be considered prior to the expiration of the corrective action period. If the corrective action period expires before the Agency makes a determination, the carrier’s registration* will be revoked. If the Agency subsequently determines that the corrective action plan is acceptable, the carrier’s registration will be immediately reinstated. However, if the Agency subsequently determines that the corrective action plan is not acceptable, the carrier will be required to wait the requisite 30 days before reapplying for new entrant registration in accordance with 49 CFR 385.329.

Issued on: August 8, 2012
Anne S. Ferro
Administrator
[FR Doc. 2012-20233 Filed 08/15/2012; Publication Date: 08/16/2012]

Commentary:

*registration – refers to the U.S. DOT Number.

**out of service (OOS) – refers to being prohibited from operating by the U.S. DOT.

As noted in our July 22, 2012 blog: “To remedy the downgrade resulting in an OOS:

(1) take action to correct the deficiencies which led to the downgraded safety rating, then (2) make a request in writing (petition) for a review of rating to the FMCSA Service Center for the geographic area where the carrier maintains its principal place of business. Because there is a deadline, these actions need to be done immediately.

This new policy simply reinforces the need to immediately respond in a timely manner to any DOT requests.