The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) began on January 1, 2000 as an offshoot of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). Before that, the FMCSA was part of the Federal Highway Administration. This changed with passage of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act, passed in 1999.
The mission of the FMCSA is to prevent accidents, injuries, and needless deaths caused by drivers of commercial trucks, buses, and other larger vehicles. It accomplishes this by enforcement of safety regulations. Other objectives of the agency include:
- Targeting high-risk commercial drivers and motor carriers for intervention
- Improving technologies available in commercial vehicles
- Creating better safety information systems and equipment
- Improving operating standards
- Increasing overall awareness of safety
The FMCSA works in close partnership with enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal levels as well as the entire motor carrier industry and other interested parties. Regulatory compliance and enforcement is one of several major responsibilities of the FMCSA. Although the rules are extensive and sometimes complex, every commercial driver and motor carrier must know and abide by them. First, however, they must know where to find them.
FMCSA Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
The FMCSA maintains an extensive list of regulations in a handbook called the Code of Federal Regulations, commonly abbreviated CFR. Drivers, motor carriers, and others affected by the regulations can find them in CFR Part 49, sections 300 to 399. Those who wish to access this section online should navigate to this link. The topics, listed in numerical order by part number, range from 303 to 399 with several large breaks in between numbers. A clickable link sits next to each section to learn more about it. It’s also possible to use the search bar to find a specific topic when the section is unknown.
Those who transport hazardous materials (HM) or expect to in the future may also want to view the FMCSA HM Regulations. The agency has divided these regulations into two sections, HM Regulations 49 CFR Parts 100-177 and HM Regulations 49 CFR Parts 178-180.
Accessing previous versions of the CFR.
Anyone who needs to access previous versions of FMCSA regulations can do so by navigating to the website govinfo.gov and selecting the year and section or part number. This database goes back to 1996. A local library may have versions from earlier years, or it may be possible to locate them by performing a basic search.
The FMCSA publishes information daily about proposals and final rulings that impact current regulations on the Federal Register. They will appear in the next annual CFR publication. The public can submit comments on proposals, final rules, and notices here.
Know where to go for insurance needs too.
Knowing and abiding by CFR regulations is only a small part of the responsibilities of drivers and motor carriers. Maintaining adequate financial responsibility through insurance is part of the duties as well. Could you be paying less for your truck insurance? We can help you compare quotes for the transportation insurance you need. You can get started with your quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat. Our team would be happy to help with your truck insurance.