Proposed Changes to the FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) gathers various data on the trucking industry, including statistical data concerning carrier citations. The citation data is accumulated through the FMCA’s “Motor Carrier Management Information System” (MCMIS). The FMCSA has recently announced that it will be changing the way the MCMIS accepts adjudication information concerning citations associated with: (1) violations that were dismissed or resulted in a finding of not guilty; (2) violations resulting in a conviction of a different or lesser charge, or (3) violations resulting in conviction of the original charge. While the stated purpose of the change is to “improve roadside inspection data quality” and to “provide more uniformity in the way the inspection violation data are treated”, attorneys and some industry watchdogs have voiced concerns. Specifically, it is feared that the change may create an unjustified “appearance of safety” for some carriers and that the quality of the roadside inspection data may actually be lessened due to a skewing of the data caused by the impact of plea deals, the whims of local prosecutors dismissing important charges, and other similar factors. The proposal is currently open for public comment. Interested persons and parties are encouraged to voice comment and concern.

The text of the rule can be found here.