Thanks to the Fast Act (America’s Surface Transportation Act) passed in December of 2015, carrier companies will now be incentivized to improve their road safety measures through the new “Beyond Compliance” program.
The Act requires the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to ensure implementation of the said program at least 18 months after the law is enacted.
As it stands, safety technology has immensely developed and benefited a lot of vehicles in the past decade alone. The problem, however, is that tractor-trailer companies are hard pressed to cut corners on costs, and most often than not, safety compliance is what gets pushed to the backburner.
Although the company may have the intention to improve safety working conditions for their drivers, they still end up missing the opportunity because of economic concerns.
To give a clearer picture as to how much problem this inability to meet safety requirements translates on the road, one need only look at the statistics. The most recent, complete statistics available would be from 2013, wherein 4,186 tractor-trailers, along with other large commercial vehicles like buses, were involved in fatal accidents.
Also based from this number, it can be seen that there had been a 3 percent increase in fatal crashes from 2012 to 2013, and a five percent increase all the way from 2011.
What is Beyond Compliance
Basically, this program awards the company either carrier credit or an improved score in their Safety Measurement System (SMS) percentile. The carrier credit will be given through the new Beyond Compliance Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC).
In order for the company to be eligible to these incentives, they must first install advanced safety equipment to their vehicles, use enhanced driver fitness measures; use fleet safety management tools, programs, and other similar technologies; as well as meet any other standards that may be set and determined by the Administrator.
It is the objective of the legislation that by rewarding companies for their good compliance behavior will ultimately translate to safer vehicles and therefore safer roads for everyone.
In the event that an accident becomes inevitable, however, know that trucking accident lawyers like associates from Stephens, Anderson & Cummings could provide legal representation.