FMCSA clarifies fire definition in accidents
Jul 24, 2007 12:35 PM
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is clarifying whether certain vehicle fires must be recorded on a motor carrier's accident register and considered in applying the agency's safety fitness procedures, according to regulatory guidance (49 CFR Part 390) published in the Federal Register July 24.
FMCSA issued the guidance information in answer to the question: "Are all fires on commercial motor vehicles (CMV) reportable accidents?" FMCSA said in the guidance that "a fire or explosion in a CMV operating on a highway in interstate or intrastate commerce would be considered an accident if it resulted in a fatality; bodily injuries requiring the victim to be transported immediately to a medical facility away from the scene; or disabling damage requiring the CMV to be towed. A collision is not a pre-requisite to an accident under Sec. 390.5.
"Any CMV fires that meet the accident criteria in 49 CFR 390.5--that is, fires that occur in a commercial motor vehicle in transport on a roadway customarily open to the public which result in a fatality, bodily injury requiring immediate medical attention away from the scene of the accident, or disabling damage requiring a vehicle to be towed--will be considered in the safety fitness determination. As indicated in Appendix B to 49 CFR Part 385, FMCSA will continue to consider preventability when a motor carrier contests a safety rating by presenting compelling evidence that the recordable rate is not a fair means of evaluating its accident factor.
"With regard to fires, preventability will be determined according to the following: If a motor carrier, that exercises normal judgment and foresight could have anticipated the possibility of the fire that in fact occurred, and avoided it by taking steps within its control--short of suspending operations--which would not have risked causing another kind of mishap, the fire was preventable."
Click here to see the information in the Federal Register.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.