SFD Rulemaking Heads to White House for Review

The long-awaited Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rulemaking was sent to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of the White House, which now has 90 days to review and clear the rule.

Specifically, the SFD rulemaking seeks to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to adopt revised methodologies that would result in a SFD. The proposed methodologies would determine a motor carrier’s fitness to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. The methodology would be based on (1) the carrier’s performance in relation to five of the Agency’s Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs); (2) an investigation; or (3) a combination of on-road safety data and investigation information.

Sources indicate that unlike the CSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) scoring, which ranks carriers based on the percentile groups they are assigned to, the SFD rule will use absolute values. Additionally, Agency sources have told TIA staff that the rule would establish a red light, green light system for a carrier’s safety rating, thus removing the confusing “conditional” rating.

After the 90 day review period by OMB, if the rule is approved, DOT would then proceed with publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register around September or October 2015 followed by a three month comment period.