The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has decided to keep social distancing measures and the need to safeguard its inspectors as well as trucking personnel in mind during the conduction of its compliance reviews.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made it risky for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration inspectors to visit sites to conduct in-person reviews and inspections. Social distancing measures, which are being followed across Indiana in the wake of the pandemic, require that the agency develop other ways to conduct reviews without endangering the safety of inspectors or trucking personnel.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has, therefore, announced that it will conduct remote compliance reviews of trucking companies and drivers at least until the pandemic ends and it is safe to conduct in –person inspections again.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, technology now makes it easier for the agency to conduct thorough and complete investigative processes and reviews through records of the carrier. Motor carriers are required to submit their records on a portal which will allow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to review these files. After review, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will assign a safety rating to carriers, even if there have been no on-site site inspections that have been conducted.
During a pandemic, technology is making it easier to for people to conduct activities that would have required an on- site presence earlier. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration believes that these remote compliance reviews are sufficient to ascertain the safety of a truck carrier, there may be concerns about the effectiveness of these reviews and whether crucial safety issues may be missed during these. While the need for remote reviews is understandable given the magnitude of the Covid-19 crisis, it’s necessary that the agency quickly reverts to on-site inspections as soon as things are under control to better make sure that the trucks plying our highways are in compliance with federal safety protocols.