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What is the FMCSA?

Washington, DC Truck Accident Attorneys

The FMCSA, fully known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is a part of the Department of Transportation that strives to make the operation of large trucks and busses on America's highways safer. As part of the executive branch, it is only able to do the actions that are authorized for it by acts of congress. While these do include some enforcement actions, most of the FMCSA's actions are in research, education, and outreach to give passenger car drivers and truck and bus operators the information they need to be safe on the road.

History and Mission of the FMCSA

The FMCSA is a relatively new agency. It was established by the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999, and began operation on January 1, 2000. Its mission is to reduce truck crashes, bus crashes, and the resulting injuries and fatalities. It carries out its safety mandate through four key components:

  • Supporting data-driven regulation that balances truck accident prevention with industry efficiency
  • Identifies motor carriers that are more prone to accidents and targets them for strict enforcement
  • Develops educational messages for trucking companies, truck drivers, and the general public
  • Works with Federal, State, and local law enforcement, trucking companies, organized labor, and safety advocacy groups to reduce bus and truck accidents

Organization of the FMCSA

The FMCSA is headquartered in Washington, DC, but has four regional offices in Maryland, Illinois, Georgia, and Colorado, and has field offices in every state. Under the FMCSA administrator are the chief counsel, the deputy administrator (who is in charge of the National Training Center), and the Chief Financial Officer of the organization.

Main Programs of the FMCSA

The FMCSA administers a number of programs that are essential to improving the safety of large trucks and buses on the road. These include:

  • The commercial driver's license program
  • The development of regulations for the truck driver, trucking company, and truck itself
  • Development of hazardous material regulations
  • A registration program for people moving that helps protect them from fraud during an interstate move
  • A safety assistance program that gives grants to States for the purpose of reducing the number and severity of truck crashes, bus crashes, and hazardous material incidents
  • Maintains a registry of federal motor carriers through their USDOT registration number
  • Performs research on the history of truck crashes, bus crashes, and injuries to determine how such crashes can be reduced
  • Identifies and promotes technology that might prevent truck accidents

If you have been hurt or lost a loved one as a result of truck accident in Washington, DC, the lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. can help. Please call or email us today for a free case evaluation to learn more.

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