FMCSA raises safety requirements for new bus and coach entrants

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) New Entrant Safety Assurance Process rule took effect December 16, 2009. The rule requires newly registered truck and bus companies to meet stricter safety requirements. It raises the compliance standards for passing new entrant safety audits and mandates new carriers to correct safety deficiencies before granting permanent registration.

“Safety is our highest priority,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This new rule says we are serious about having safe trucks and buses on the road.  This is important for those behind the wheels of these big rigs and those who share the road with them.”

“This new rule helps to ensure that only the safest carriers can enter the industry and continue to operate on our roadways,” says FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “By strengthening the new entrant process, our agency supports new carriers as they establish and maintain critical safety management controls that enable them to operate in full compliance with federal safety regulations.”

Under the new requirements, a newly registered truck or bus company will automatically fail its safety audit if FMCSA inspectors discover violations of any one of 16 essential federal regulations. These regulations cover controlled substances and alcohol testing, hours-of-service rules, driver qualifications, vehicle condition and carrier insurance responsibility.

FMCSA says failure to pass a new entrant safety audit may result in the revocation of a carrier’s registration unless that carrier takes corrective action within the specified time period. Additionally, if administration agents discover certain violations during roadside inspections, the new carrier may be subject to an expedited safety audit or a compliance review that can result in fines or an out-of-service order.

For more information on the New Entrant Safety Assurance Process rule, visit the FMCSA Web site at