Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Law and Legal Definition

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation. It was created on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. The FMCSA regulates the trucking industry in the U.S. It is headquartered in Washington, DC.

The FMCSA aims to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. The activities of the Administration are geared towards ensuring safety in motor carrier operations. To achieve its goal, the FMCSA tries to bring about strong enforcement of safety regulations; improve safety information systems and commercial motor vehicle technologies; strengthen commercial motor vehicle equipment and operating standards; and increase safety awareness. To accomplish these activities, the Administration works with federal, state, and local enforcement agencies, the motor carrier industry, labor safety interest groups, and others.

Some of its main activities are:

Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement. The Administration operates a program to improve safety performance and remove high-risk carriers from the Nation's highways.

Commercial Drivers' Licenses. The Administration develops standards to test and license commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Research and Technology. The Administration coordinates research and development to improve the safety of motor carrier operations and commercial motor vehicles and drivers.

Data and Analysis. The Administration collects and disseminates data on motor carrier safety and directs resources to improve motor carrier safety.

Safety Assistance. The Administration provides States with financial assistance for roadside inspections and other commercial motor vehicle safety programs. It promotes motor vehicle and motor carrier safety.