The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has posted online a proposed rule that would allow the agency to suspend or revoke a motor carrier's operating authority if that carrier shows "egregious disregard for safety compliance."
The proposed rule, published and opened for comment on Tuesday, essentially allows FMCSA to go after motor carriers if the person in charge of safety compliance (or the company as a whole) exhibits a disregard for safety measures or has tried to hide the fact that it has not complied with directed safety measures. A major reason for this rule is to cut down on companies reinventing themselves under different names when they've been told to cease operation because of safety issues (instead of shutting down).
The rule references an incident that took place on Aug. 8, 2008, when a motor coach crashed, killing 17 people and injuring another 39.
"The investigation conducted by FMCSA and the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that the motor carrier was operating without authority and a reincarnation of another bus company that had been recently placed out of service for safety violations and that both companies were under the control of the same person," according to background information on the proposed rule. "FMCSA determined that the companies' flagrant disregard for safety under this person's control demonstrated a hazard to the safety of the motoring public."
The public has until Monday, Jan. 14 to comment on the rule, which is available at bit.ly/FMCSArule.