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Motor Carrier Operations. Issue Areas. FMCSA oversight of passenger carriers. Non-FMVSS-compliant vehicles in the United States. Issue Areas. Motor Carrier Operations. Leasing agreements Scope of operating authority. New Entrant Safety Assurance Program.

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Issue areas
Issue Areas

  • FMCSA oversight of passenger carriers

  • Non-FMVSS-compliant vehicles in the United States

Issue areas1
Issue Areas

  • Motor Carrier Operations

  • Leasing agreements

  • Scope of operating authority

  • New Entrant Safety Assurance Program

  • FMVSS compliance and vehicle inspections

  • Vehicle importation

  • Vehicle registration

Capricorn bus lines
Capricorn Bus Lines

  • Capricorn was originally Flores Charters and Tours

  • Operated a “regular route” bus service from Houston, Texas, to Monterrey, Mexico

  • Lost insurance in 2003 due to 2002 fatal accident in Mexico

  • Started Capricorn in February 2004

Capricorn bus lines1
Capricorn Bus Lines

  • Unable to secure insurance coverage

  • June 2005 – leasing agreement with Transportes Chavez for operating authority

  • Met the definition of a passenger motor carrier – 49 CFR 390.5

Capricorn bus lines2
Capricorn Bus Lines

  • 2006 and 2007 – lease agreement with International Charter Services

  • Capricorn was operating in interstate commerce under International’s operating authority and insurance coverage

Capricorn bus lines3
Capricorn Bus Lines

  • International effectively relinquished operational control of Capricorn

- Hiring drivers

- Maintaining/registering vehicles

- Complying will all DOT regulations

  • Capricorn not responsible for post-accident compliance review rating

International charter services
International Charter Services

  • In June 2005, applied for interstate operating authority

  • New Entrant Safety Audit –November 2005

  • Permanent operating authority – November 2006

  • Operated one motorcoach

Company lease agreements

Capricorn Bus Services

Lease agreement

Operating authority

International Charter Services

(U.S. DOT Operating Authority)

Company Lease Agreements

Flores Charter and Tours



Motor carrier operations

Company Lease Agreements

  • Capricorn

- Drivers

- Vehicle maintenance

- FMCSR Compliance

  • International lost operational control

Scope of operating authority
Scope of Operating Authority

  • Applicants must specify

- Regular Route Service – scheduled bus service over regular routes

- Charter and Special Transportation – all other types of bus service

Scope of operating authority1
Scope of Operating Authority

  • Capricorn’s mode of operation in violation of International’s authority

  • International’s scope of authority was Charter and Special Transportation

  • Capricorn’s bus operation met definition of Regular Route Service

Fmcsa oversight
FMCSA Oversight

  • Conducted Compliance Review on International

- Unsatisfactory – Driver category

- Conditional – Vehicle category

- Overall rating – Conditional

- Fine – $5,840

- Recommendation H-99-6

Fmcsa oversight1
FMCSA Oversight

  • FMCSA aware of leasing agreement

- 49 CFR Part 376 – Leases – applies to cargo carriers only

- Capricorn avoided any negative consequences

  • Decreases the effectiveness of FMCSA’s New Entrant vetting process

New entrant safety assurance program1
New Entrant Safety Assurance Program

  • Created January 2003

  • To identify at-risk carriers prior to granting permanent operating authority

  • To identify “reincarnated carriers”

- Operate as a new entity

- Evade FMCSA enforcement action

New entrant safety assurance program2
New Entrant Safety Assurance Program

  • 18-month safety monitoring program

  • Educational material

  • Safety audit

  • Monitoring of roadside inspection and crash data

New entrant safety assurance program3
New Entrant Safety Assurance Program

- Evasion Detection Algorithm

  • Passenger Carrier Vetting Process (PCVP)

- Poorly performing carriers since 2003

- Matched data may result in denied authority

Leasing and the vetting process
Leasing and the Vetting Process

  • July 15, 2008, through August 13, 2009

- 873 applications

- 326 proceeding successfully

- 101 dismissed

- 17 withdrawn by applicant

- 1 “Show Cause” order

- 428 awaiting processing

Pcvp limitations
PCVP Limitations

  • Leasing with existing carrier

  • Shields nonauthorized carrier

  • Circumvents New Entrant vetting data points

  • Current leasing regulations do not apply to passenger carriers

Pcvp limitations1
PCVP Limitations

  • Evasion Detection Algorithm – only compares applicant carriers to poor carriers back to 2003

  • Ignores potential reincarnated carriers who may already exist

Non fmvss accident vehicle
Non-FMVSS Accident Vehicle

  • Relationship of the FMVSSs to the FMCSRs and vehicle inspections

  • How the accident vehicle was brought into the United States

  • How the accident vehicle obtained U.S. license plates


  • National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act - 1966

  • 49 CFR 571

    • Minimum level of safety

    • FMVSS vehicles only on U.S. Roads

Fmvss certification
FMVSS Certification

  • Vehicle manufacturer must certify

This vehicle conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs) in effect on the date of manufacture shown above

  • Certification on or near VIN plate

  • VIN is NOT coded for FMVSS conformity

Fmvsss and vehicle inspections
FMVSSs and Vehicle Inspections

  • Inspections are conducted using CVSA inspection criteria

  • Based on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations - FMCSRs

  • No inspection criteria for FMVSS compliance certification

Fmvsss and vehicle inspections1
FMVSSs and Vehicle Inspections

  • Not all FMVSSs included in FMCSRs

  • Many inspection criteria do not incorporate FMVSS verification

  • Designed for operational defect detection, not FMVSS compliance

Fmvsss and vehicle inspections2
FMVSSs and Vehicle Inspections

  • FMCSA aware of vehicles entering the country that were non-FMVSS compliant

  • FMCSA lacks specific authority to place a vehicle out of service for non-FMVSS compliance

Fmvsss and operating authority
FMVSSs and Operating Authority

  • Carrier conditions for granting operating authority

  • Violations can result in vehicle and/or company out-of-service orders

  • Mexico-domiciled carriers must certify only FMVSS-compliant vehicles

  • U.S. carriers do not have to certify

Vehicle importation1
Vehicle Importation

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — Regulations for the importation of vehicles

  • Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) — Regulations for the importation of cargo and processing vehicles

Vehicle importation2
Vehicle Importation

  • 49 U.S.C. 30112

    A person may not manufacture forsale, sell, offer for sale, introduce or deliver for introduction in interstate commerce, or import into the United States any motor vehicle…unless the vehicle complies with the FMVSS

Vehicle importation3
Vehicle Importation

  • Title 19 CFR 12.80(a) entry restrictions

    A motor vehicle manufactured for sale or importation or use in interstate commerce is not permitted entry into the Customs territory of the United States unless it conformed to FMVSS standards when it was manufactured

  • Hinders enforcement efforts


  • FMCSA and NHTSA 2002 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

  • Define “import” for enforcement purposes

  • Require FMVSS certification statement on all commercial vehicles for enforcement purposes

  • Withdrawn in 2005

Accident vehicle importation
Accident Vehicle Importation

  • Purchased in Mexico

    • - Mexico registration and plates

    • - Failed to declare for importation

  • September to December 2007, crossed border 28 times

Accident vehicle importation1

- No declaration by carrier

- Used in international trade


- Had operating authority

  • No out-of-service violations

  • FMCSA – no legal authority

Accident Vehicle Importation

  • Should have been denied entry

Vehicle registration1
Vehicle Registration

  • Intrastate registration

  • Interstate registration

- International Registration Plan - IRP

- United States and Canada

- Register in home state

- Apportioned plates

- Operate in any state or province

- Mexico is not part of the IRP

Vehicle registration4
Vehicle Registration

  • Originally had Mexico registration and license plates only

  • October 2007 ─ owner of Green River Buses helped Capricorn register non-FMVSS motorcoaches in California

  • Ticket October 2006

Vehicle registration5
Vehicle Registration

  • California did not require FMVSS verification for IRP registration

  • Transferred California registration to Texas

  • Same process used in registering three other non-FMVSS buses