Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Centry Act (MAP-21) was adopted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on October 1, 2013. The 17 rule amendments were a nondiscretionary action taken without issuing any notice of proposed rulemaking, became effective immediately, and were not subject to reception of public comment. That said, the only direct change to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations was the addition of definitions for a “covered farm agricultural commodity” and “farm supplies for agricultural purposes.”
 
The U.S. Department of Transportation has explained that the MAP-21 amendments are intended to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. Clearly, the FMCSA plans to achieve this objective through raising the bar for entry into the trucking industry; holding motor carriers and drivers to higher safety standards; removing high-risk drivers, vehicles and carriers from U.S. roadways; and increasing penalties for noncompliance.
 
The following table represents an overview of the MAP-21 modifications as delineated in Section 49 of the United State Code:
Click here to view table.
 
The MAP-21 mandates focus on increased penalties and enforcement practices. Motor carriers need to be aware of the increased diligence required in policing drivers, vehicles and operations to avoid costly penalties that could destroy, or at a minimum, significantly impact carriers. Failure to abide by the new mandates will certainly decrease changes for viability and profitability.