FMCSA: History, Mission and Road Safety Activities

Every driver who works in commercial freight and passenger transportation knows about FMCSA. It is the central Federal Agency that regulates and oversees the CMVs safety. The Agency makes laws, rules, and conducts community work to better road safety knowledge for truckers and other road users. In the following article, we want to talk in detail about the FMCSA, its mission, and its role in each CMV driver's life.

What Is FMCSA? Learn About Its History

The FMCSA is the American federal entity for controlling the trucking sphere. The main aim is to decrease the number of road accidents involving trucks and other large CMVs, to decrease injuries and deaths due to traffic accidents. To this end, the Agency is actively cooperating with the authorities of all American states. The FMCSA monitors traffic laws and regulations, conducts training, research, and implements new technologies that contribute to improved highway safety.

Let's take a quick look at how FMCSA was created. In 1999, Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act was issued. According to this document, on January 1, 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was created within the USA DOT. It still remains an important date in the Agency's history. When the FMCSA was still element of the Federal Highway Administration, its main goal was to prevent fatal accidents and dangerous injuries. After the Agency became an independent entity, its tasks expanded. The following functions have been added to the previous functions: bettering information security systems and hi-tech technologies, increasing driver awareness, monitoring compliance with laws and rules, and so forth.

The main office is located now in Washington, DC. Imagine — more than 1,000 people across the United States work to benefit commercial drivers and other road users. They are active, enthusiastic, and dedicated workers who do everything for the security of American roads.

FMCSA Activities

To provide the achievement of set tasks, the FMCSA engages in a variety of duties.

  • CMV driver licensing. The Agency creates appropriate tests to check the necessary knowledge of potential commercial drivers. 
  • Analysis of road safety information. The FMCSA collects road safety information and works on strategies to improve it. 
  • Issuance of regulations. The Agency works on rules, regulations, standards, and pilot programs that positively impact road safety. 
  • Research and technology. The Agency looks at various new technologies and researches how devices can make a difference in road safety. 
  • Help with security. FMCSA provides material assistance throughout America so that every state can conduct road checks and implement safety projects properly.

What Is FMCSA Regulations Issuance

The FMCSA is constantly developing regulations that aim to raise the level of road safety. The Agency issues rules, standards, programs (including offering various pilot ones), notifications, declarations, and more. All regulations issued by the Administration can be found in the Federal Register. If you would like to purchase a paper copy of any law, you can do so from the Government Printing Office. Also, all documents are freely available on the Internet.

One of the primary documents issued by the FMCSA is the ELD Mandate. It obliges all commercial drivers who need to log their HOS to use electronic logging devices only. This document finally entered into force on December 16, 2019.

Essential documents include HOS rules, which determine the driver's time intervals, namely the time of driving, breaks, rest, and more. The Agency continuously works to improve the existing rules. So in September 2020, it made several changes, giving drivers more flexibility in their work.

The Strategy of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

During more than 20 years, FMCSA has been pursuing its main mission — decreasing the number of fatal accidents, injuries to road users in which commercial trucks and passenger buses take part. For this, an effective strategy has been developed, strictly adhered to by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Let's discover more about its strategy.

  • The FMCSA develops effective regulations to improve highway safety across the United States. For this reason, the information of the conducted research are used. 
  • The Agency also controls that all truck and bus drivers strictly adhere to the set rules. The Administration actively uses information systems. Thus, it focuses on dangerous subjects while ensuring full compliance with established road regulations. 
  • The Agency continually communicates with carriers, CMV drivers, and other citizens. It shares educational messages to raise awareness about road rules. 
  • The FMCSA actively collaborates with entities interested in improving road safety. They are federal, state, and local bodies, labor unions, security groups, etc. They fight together for the safest highways.

It should be noted that achieving these goals would have been impossible without the dedicated workers. Every day, they make every effort to decrease traffic hazards and save human lives.

FMCSA Careers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers tremendous career chances for everyone. Therefore, if you dream to become an FMCSA superhero, save CMV drivers, passengers' lives, you can try to become a part of the Administration. At the same time, you can get a job both in your state and Washington, where the main office is now located.

Working in such an important structure involves more than just being able to contribute to all Americans' safety. There are a lot of practical benefits. For instance, an excellent opportunity to work with leaders known around the world and a vast number of other talented, smart and innovative people. Every FMCSA hardworking employee gets endless professional growth, discoveries, the acquisition of excellent skills, and qualified knowledge expansion.

Besides, for graduates or those who are just starting their careers, the FMCSA offers a unique program. It provides an opportunity to gain the necessary experience and knowledge. In after years, the most productive and talented participants can receive job offers.

By Denis Kirston
10 / 03 / 2021
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