FMCSA announces enhancements to SMS Website

July 30, 2014

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announces a package of enhancements to the Safety Measurement System (SMS) website. The changes take effect August 4.

SMS is an automated system that quantifies the on-road safety performance of commercial truck and bus companies that is used to identify and prioritize high-risk carriers for enforcement interventions, including increased roadside inspections and compliance reviews. The enhancements provide clearer descriptions and easier, more intuitive navigation features. The enhancements were derived from feedback solicited from motor carriers, law enforcement personnel, industry representatives and other stakeholders who were given an opportunity to critique various website enhancement proposals.

Web site enhancements include the following:

  • Displaying a summary BASIC status to better clarify if a motor carrier’s performance in the individual BASICs causes it to be prioritized for an intervention.
  • Offering a new “Take a Tour” feature to highlight changes to the SMS display and help visitors navigate the site.
  • Allowing the web site user to download the data for all of the carriers in the same safety event group used to rank a motor carrier’s BASIC percentile.
  • Highlighting a motor carrier’s individual performance measure in each BASIC to more clearly identify performance trends over time.
  • Reordering the display of the BASICs based on their association to crash rates, with the BASICs with the strongest associations to the left.
  • Displaying any motor carrier safety rating from a compliance review issued in accordance with 49 CFR Part 385.
  • Displaying current insurance and operating authority status.
  • Providing a motor carrier’s enforcement case history, including the date the case was closed, the applicable violations, and the associated fines.
  • Enhancing the presentation of safety performance over time through a variety of displays and graphs that users can customize.
  • Displaying the total number of inspections, as well as a breakdown of the number of inspections with violations used in the SMS in each carrier’s detailed information.
  • Clarifying terminology in the SMS, such as the definitions of the terms “0%” and “<3 inspections with violations” in a new glossary called “SMS display Key Terms.”
  • The changes to the SMS website do not alter the SMS methodology or affect a carrier’s safety rating, which is subject to 49 CFR part 385, Safety Fitness Procedures, according to FMCSA officials. The enhancements are a continuation of FMCSA’s efforts, first announced in April 2010, to provide the motor carrier industry and other safety stakeholders with more comprehensive, informative, and regularly updated safety performance data.

    To assist users in adapting to the SMS website enhancements, FMCSA will hold three educational webinars, with two on August 20 (10:00-11:30 am and 2:00-3:30 pm), and a third to be held on August 21 (2:00-3:30 pm). Webinar participants will be able to ask questions and receive real-time responses. Additionally during the webinars, FMCSA staff will discuss and answer questions on the Agency’s new adjudicated citations policy, which takes effect August 23, 2014.

    To register for one of the upcoming three educational webinars, visit: