Why are driver errors the responsibility of the motor carrier?

Motor carriers and driver errors

The Safety Management System (SMS) is a program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that ranks motor carriers based on seven specific behaviors. This helps to prioritize them for intervention from the FMCSA. One common question that motor carriers, drivers, and members of the public have is why the FMCSA holds motor carriers responsible for driver errors such as speeding, not meeting medical or experience qualifications, or driving a commercial vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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Why isn’t there a driver rating system?

Driver rating

Members of the public and officials in the transportation industry sometimes get the mistaken impression that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does not hold drivers accountable for their actions because responsibility falls solely on employers. Nothing could be further from the truth. While the agency does not assign a driver rating per se, it operates several programs to ensure that commercial drivers operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner while on public roadways. At any rate, we’ll explain why there’s no driver rating.

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How have roadside inspections been improved?

Roadside inspections

Roadside inspections are an integral function of the Compliance, Safety & Accountability (CSA) division of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Whether scheduled or random, the purpose of a roadside inspection is to determine if the driver and/or motor carrier has violated any safety rules that could potentially risk public safety. Common examples include failing to maintain a commercial vehicle properly and a driver who keeps inadequate logs to record his or her hours of service.

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How to make a correction on the FMCSA or in my carrier profile

Carrier profile

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) keeps thousands of electronic records on drivers and motor carriers. While it strives to collect and maintain accurate data, you may occasionally spot an error in your own record or carrier profile. If so, the FMCSA allows you to request a correction through its DataQs system. The purpose of DataQs is to allow drivers and motor carriers to review data imported from state and federal sources for accuracy and request correction if necessary.

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Is the URS the same thing as the UCR?


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) operates dozens of programs that it typically refers to only by their abbreviations. The United Registration System (URS) and is no exception. Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) is a state-operated program. Due to the closeness of the abbreviations and the fact that both involve some type of registration, it can be easy to get URS and UCR confused. The most important thing to remember about them is that they are not the same thing.

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How do I get my PIN from the FMCSA?


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) offers numerous online resources for drivers and motor carriers. Checking your safety record, challenging incorrect information, updating demographic data, and utilizing resources to become a better commercial driver are just some things you can do through the FMCSA website. However, you need to have a personal identification number (PIN) to access areas with sensitive data just as you do with any other website. If you don’t yet have a PIN, follow the instructions below to establish one.

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Do freight forwarders and brokers have to register with the FMCSA?

Freight forwarders

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a freight forwarder is a company that arranges the transportation of goods that carriers licensed by the agency will deliver in the future. Freight forwarding companies provide bill of lading documentation to the shippers and remain responsible for safely delivering the goods.

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Who is authorized to use Clearinghouse and how do they sign up?

Who is authorized to use Clearinghouse

The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is a database maintained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The purpose is to provide real-time access to law enforcement personnel at the state level, State Driver License Agencies (SDLA), and the FMCSA itself regarding violations of alcohol and drug use. It is a violation of the FMCSA drug and alcohol policy for a driver to have a blood alcohol concentration greater than .04 percent while performing any official duties. However, truck drivers might wonder who is authorized to access the new Clearinghouse.

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FMCSA Clearinghouse update: January 6th has passed

FMCSA Clearinghouse

The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) developed more than three years ago, finally became available to authorized users on January 6, 2020. The database collects and stores information about professional drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP) as it pertains to drug and alcohol violations. This covers all commercial drivers required to abide by the FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing policy.

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