The Safety Management System (SMS) is a program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that evaluates and ranks drivers based on several key components. FMCSA states that the purpose of the SMS is to discover and prioritize drivers with unsafe driving habits for agency intervention. This can range from a simple warning letter all the way to an out of service order or revocation of the driver’s Department of Transportation (DOT) number or authority to drive in certain situations (MC number). SMS works in conjunction with another FMCSA program called Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA). The Motor Carrier Overview provides helpful information to give a snapshot of a motor carrier’s situation.
As part of its efforts to improve both public safety and driver behavior, SMS enforces seven key criteria known as BASICs. This stands for Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories and includes data in these areas:
- Controlled Substances and Alcohol
- Crash Indicator
- Driver Fitness
- Hazardous Materials
- Hours of Service
- Unsafe Driving
- Vehicle Maintenance
Although not one of the seven BASICs, inspectors also make sure that each driver has the minimum amount of insurance and has completed all registration requirements appropriately.
Information displayed in the SMS
The SMS program maintains detailed data for every motor carrier. It also offers an overview that contains the following information:
- Carrier Registration Information: This section displays current registration information on every motor carrier. The information is current as of the time the SMS determined results and safety rankings.
- Data Downloads: People viewing this section can download crash, inspection, and violation data used by the SMS to determine results for each motor carrier. Website visitors can request data from one or more BASICs in this section. It will display in either XML or Microsoft Excel format depending on user preference.
- Overview of BASICs: This section displays investigation results and on-road results for each of the BASICs listed above.
- Recent Investigations: Here is where you or the public can find the results of the five most recent inspections.
- Summary of Activities: This section includes a summary of crashes and roadside inspections for a period of 24 months. It represents the most current information that the SMS has.
Other than the Crash Indicator and Hazardous Materials BASICs, the information compiled on each motor carrier is available for public viewing. The Motor Carrier Overview page acts as a composite of compiled data from sources such as roadside inspection reports and police reports. The public can also download reports in five of the seven BASICs.
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