Every time we think about being behind the wheel, the first term that should come to our minds is “safety.” Whether you’re a casual driver or the owner of a trucking company, road safety should always be a top priority.
To ensure the safety of both drivers and pedestrians, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration implemented a procedure called the DOT Safety Audit.
According to the Simplex Group – DOT compliance service providers, the best way of ensuring the success of your DOT Safety Audit is to be well informed and prepared.
What is a DOT Safety Audit?
A safety audit reviews a motor carrier’s records to ensure that it has basic safety management procedures in place to guarantee compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and Hazardous Materials Regulations.
Failure to follow appropriate procedures can result in a loss of FMCSA registration and a slew of fines, as the FMCSA has made it clear that worker safety is of the utmost importance. These are the kinds of repercussions that trucking companies should avoid at all costs, so having documentation on hand is crucial.
While DOT compliance may, on the surface, seem complicated, the process has been simplified by the advent of technology. Now, with solutions like DOT compliance software, all critical records are centralized whilst a watchful eye is kept on deadlines and compliance requirements, keeping you and your employees out of harm’s way and always ready for a safety audit. You can check here to find out more about DOT compliance software features and how this software can help your business.
DOT Safety Audit
The DOT safety audits are conducted on all new motor carriers. Motor carriers are awarded temporary operating permission and are immediately enrolled in the DOT’s New Entrant Safety Program, which needs a Safety Audit, after receiving a Federal USDOT number.
Within one year of registering with the DOT, most motor carriers will be required to pass the New Entrant Safety Audit. Within 120 days of registering with the DOT, passenger carriers must undertake the New Entrant Safety Audit.
A DOT Safety Audit may also be conducted if the FMCSA suspects that your organization is not adhering to the standards put in place to keep everyone safe on the roadways. A DOT Safety Audit, also known as a compliance review, can be triggered for a variety of reasons.
What triggers a DOT Safety Audit?
A Failed New Entrant Safety Audit – Companies that do not pass the New Entrant Safety Audit on their first attempt will most likely be monitored by the FMCSA. The simplest method to prevent this problem is to understand the standards completely; this way, the FMCSA won’t have reason to conduct a compliance evaluation later.
Poor CSA Basic Scores – A carrier’s score is based on information about its drivers, including all safety-related roadside inspection violations and state-reported crashes. If one of a firm’s drivers violates one or more of the seven categories of hazardous driving, such as risky driving, driving when tired, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the FMCSA may subject the company to a DOT compliance assessment.
A Complaint – The Department of Transportation takes safety concerns very seriously. Your drivers jeopardize the lives of innocent bystanders when they behave dangerously on the road. The DOT goes to considerable efforts to ensure that your company complies with all safety regulations. If a complaint is filed against you and it looks to be valid, you should expect a more thorough inquiry.
An accident – It only takes one accident for the FMCSA to launch an inquiry. If an accident results in a fatality or severe injury, the FMCSA will initiate a review with as little warning as feasible. The FMCSA will issue more or fewer notifications depending on the accident’s severity.