FMCSRFederal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
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Wiwi and Mann represent an interesting dichotomy because the court in Ortiz seemed to indicate that a company need not necessarily conduct any specific training with respect to its drivers because the FMCSR do not require any training.
During a roadside inspection, federal and/or state inspectors evaluate the vehicle and driver's compliance with the FMCSR (49 Code of Federal Regulations, 300-399).
To estimate the monetary benefits associated with the FMCSR on 10,00126,000-lb vehicles, we employ the "Intervention Model" developed by the Volpe Transportation Systems Center.
Additional insights can be obtained from comparing inspection results of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in the 10,001-26,000-lb range versus CMVs in the 26,001-80,000-lb range based on the reporting of violations of the FMCSR. The data included all roadside inspections conducted during calendar year 2008; the data source was the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS).
The cost of enforcing the FMCSRs is borne primarily by the FMCSA through motor-carrier compliance reviews conducted primarily by federal field staff, and driver and vehicle roadside inspections conducted primarily by state inspectors and paid for by federal grants under the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP).
The purpose of the FMCSR is to "help reduce or prevent truck and bus accidents, fatalities, and injuries by requiring drivers to have a single commercial motor vehicle driver's license and by disqualifying drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles in an unsafe manner."(7) A commercial driver's license (CDL) is required by the federal government but issued by the state.
Each professional truck driver and motor carrier is required to comply with FMCSR [subsections] 383, 390-397, and 399 at all times.(8) The preface of the FMCSR booklet proclaims that "safety is no accident."
The use of the FMCSR may be an important tool to establish liability in truck cases and to show how the negligent conduct of the truck driver and the motor carrier contributed to or caused the collision.
Sections of the FMCSR most regularly used in litigation against defendants are as follows:
Compliance with norms such as the FMCSR occurs along the dimensions of driver performance and vehicle performance.(8) Driver performance is the extent to which a carrier's drivers avoid committing safety-threatening errors during service.
However, safety regulation demands that they also place equal, possibly greater, emphasis on compliance with the FMCSR. If, as earlier-cited studies suggest, the FMCSR effectively reduce highway safety risk, it would imply that carriers could minimize physical risk to society by focusing safety management efforts on achieving acceptable degrees of compliance.
This was felt to be consistent with public pressure put on motor carriers to achieve the highest compliance with the FMCSR possible from its safety management efforts.