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Understanding the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Welcome to the Understanding FMCSA transition site page. Here you will find all sorts of useful information about what FMCSA does, how it is organized, and the manner in which it operates. For additional information about FMCSA, please go to www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Who We Are

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (49 U.S.C. 113).  Formerly a part of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries. Activities of the Administration contribute to ensuring safety in motor carrier operations through strong enforcement of safety regulations; targeting high-risk carriers and commercial motor vehicle drivers; improving safety information systems and commercial motor vehicle technologies; strengthening commercial motor vehicle equipment and operating standards; and increasing safety awareness. To accomplish these activities, the Administration works with Federal, State, and local enforcement agencies, the motor carrier industry, labor and safety interest groups, and others.

In carrying out its safety mandate, FMCSA: 1) Develops and enforces data-driven regulations that balance motor carrier (truck and bus companies) safety with efficiency; 2) Harnesses safety information systems to focus on higher risk carriers in enforcing the safety regulations; 3) Targets educational messages to carriers, commercial drivers, and the public; and 4) Partners with stakeholders including Federal, State, and local enforcement agencies, the motor carrier industry, safety groups, and organized labor on efforts to reduce bus and truck-related crashes. 

FMCSA has approximately 1,150 employees to execute its mission, consisting of approximately 355 (31 percent) employees located at headquarters and approximately 795 (69 percent) employees located at field offices in each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and work with State, local, and other Federal transportation agencies.

History

  • Federal truck safety rules were first issued in 1936 by the Bureau of Motor Carriers, a division of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC).
  • When the DOT was established on October 15, 1966, the ICC's regulatory authority over truck and bus safety was transferred to DOT, delegated to FHWA and designated the Office of Motor Carrier Safety. 
  • In 2000, Congress established FMCSA as a stand-alone DOT agency pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999.  
  • Since 2000, FMCSA has been responsible for establishing and enforcing safety regulations for commercial motor vehicle operators and drivers, regulating interstate transportation by large trucks, buses, and household goods operations and inter/intrastate hazardous materials transportation, establishing and enforcing standards that States must follow concerning the application and testing processes and procedures for all individuals seeking a commercial driver's license (CDL), and providing financial and technical assistance to State and local governments who enforce State safety programs based on FMCSA's regulations. 

What We Do

  • The FMCSA regulates approximately 521,000 active interstate freight motor carriers, 13,000 passenger carriers, 17,000 intrastate-only hazardous materials carriers, and approximately 4 million active CDL holders. In 2014, the Department estimated that: 
    • There were over 11 million U.S.-registered large trucks and buses, traveling more than 295 billion vehicle miles.  
    • The total miles traveled by all vehicles from 2003 to 2014 grew 5 percent.  
    • Large truck- and bus-related mileage grew 31 percent from 2003 to 2014, while registrations for large trucks and buses increased by about 38 percent. Despite this continued growth in commercial vehicle traffic, there was a 19 percent reduction in fatalities in crashes involving large trucks and buses, from 5,347 in 2006 to 4,337 in 2015. This reflects a 39 percent reduction from 1979, the year with the most fatalities involving large trucks and buses. 
  • In FY 2015, FMCSA and its State partners conducted approximately 3.4 million truck and bus roadside inspections. Twenty-one percent of trucks inspected were put out of service, 7 percent of buses inspected were put out of service, and 5 percent of drivers inspected were put out of service.
  • Commercial motor vehicle roadside inspection and traffic enforcement programs are premised on the notion that correcting serious driver and vehicle violations at the roadside prevents future crashes and hence saves lives. Based on models that assess the number and type of violations found each year at the roadside, the Agency estimates that it prevents roughly 15,000 crashes per year as a result of these programs and saves about 500 lives per year. External factors such as demographics, economic conditions, gas prices, and the increased use of public transportation have also had an impact on the reduction of injuries and fatalities. More than 3 million inspections are done annually. 
    • In FY 2015, FMCSA Special Agents conducted approximately 8,200 investigations. State Partner Safety Investigators contributed approximately 6,400 investigations during the same time period. As a result of these investigations, 5,066 Notice of Claims (NOC), 632 Unsatisfactory/Unfit Out-of-Service (OOS) Orders, and seven Imminent Hazard OOS Orders were issued.  
    • Safety Auditors also conducted 31,734 new entrant safety audits. 
  • In 2015, 4,337 people were killed in large truck and bus crashes and approximately 138,000 individuals were injured. The estimated cost of commercial motor vehicle crashes resulting in fatalities and injuries exceeded $83 billion in 2014. 

View the list of current FMCSA programs and statutory codes.

Organization Chart

FHWA Organization Chart

Line of Succession

Eligibility for succession to the position of Administrator shall be limited to officially assigned permanent incumbents of the positions listed.  In the event any of the positions listed are vacant or occupied by an Acting designee, succession shall pass on to the next position filled by an officially assigned permanent incumbent.

Line of Succession
TitleName
Administrator (political appointee)T. F. Scott Darling, III
Deputy AdministratorDaphne Jefferson
Chief Counsel (political appointee)Gil DeJesus
Assistant Administrator/Chief Safety OfficerJohn Van Steenburg
Associate Administrator for EnforcementWilliam A. Quade
Associate Administrator for Field OperationsAnne L. Collins
Associate Administrator for PolicyLarry W. Minor
Associate Administrator for Research and Information Technology and Chief Information OfficerDr. G. Kelly Regal
Associate Administrator for AdministrationWilliam A. Quade*
Chief Financial OfficerPamela G. Reed
Deputy Chief CounselCharles J. Fromm
Director, Office of Safety ProgramsThomas P. Keane
Director, Office of Enforcement and Compliance,Joseph P. DeLorenzo
Regional Field Administrator – Eastern RegionCurtis L. Thomas
Regional Field Administrator – Western RegionWilliam R. Paden
Regional Field Administrator – Midwestern RegionVacant
Regional Field Administrator – Southern RegionDarrel L. Ruban
Director, Office of Bus and Truck StandardsCharles A. Horan II
Director, Office of Policy, Rules and RegulationsRobert W. Miller
Director, Office of Analysis, Research and TechnologyDr. Steven K. Smith
Director, Office of Registration and Safety InformationKenneth H. Riddle
Director, Office of Medical Programs,Vacant
Director, Office of Human ResourcesCurtis R. Allen*

*Designates Acting

FMCSA Labor Union Agreement

More information on FMCSA's labor union agreement can be found in the file below.

FMCSA Labor Relations Information 

FMCSA Budget History 

View 10 years of FMCSA budget information in the spreadsheet below.

FMCSA FY2008 - FY2018 10-year funding history

FMCSA 101

FMCSA 101

Congressional Committees of Jurisdiction

FMCSA Congressional Committees of Jurisdiction

Updated: Friday, April 28, 2017
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