Significant Improvement in Motor Carrier Safety Since 1999 Act but Loopholes for Repeat Violators Need Closing
On April 21, we issued a final report on our audit of FMCSA’s implementation of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA) of 1999. Our audit objectives were to assess FMCSA’s progress in: (1) implementing OIG’s 1999 audit recommendations, (2) establishing the new entrant program, and (3) completing MCSIA-required rulemakings.
We found that FMCSA significantly improved oversight of motor carrier safety since our 1999 audit, but needed to ensure that repeat violators cannot escape maximum fines by documenting all violations that should be considered in identifying a pattern of violations. FMCSA also needed to further improve the quality of motor carrier data, continue monitoring states’ progress in conducting safety audits to maintain timeliness and enhance effectiveness, and complete one MCSIA-required rulemaking to combine the commercial driver’s license and the medical certificate. FMCSA agreed to take action to address seven of our eight recommendations, but did not agree to take any specific action on our remaining recommendation to improve motor carrier compliance with census data updating requirements. FMCSA did agree to consider alternative measures to implement this recommendation.