Big Changes Coming To BIT Program

There will be some important changes to the Basic Inspection of Terminals (BIT) Program effective January 1, 2016. Due to this, it is important to be vigilant about keeping close track of your company’s safety data because it monitored by the Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) Enforcement Program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Here is a comparison between the current BIT Program and the new one:

Current Program

  • Remains in effect through December 31, 2015
  • Inspection based on time
  • Inspected every two (2) years
  • “Motor Carrier”, specific to BIT
  • Every terminal every two (2) years
  • < 120 days following an unsatisfactory rating

New Program

  • Becomes effective January 1, 2016
  • Inspection selection based on carrier performance
  • Not inspected more than 1 time every six (6) years if carrier has not exceeded performance threshold
  • “Motor Carrier” as defined in Section 408 California Vehicle Code (CVC)
  • Based on carrier performance statistics
  • < 120 following an unsatisfactory rating
  • Selection priority of terminals never before inspected

As you know, the following are reviewed during a BIT Inspection:

Driver Records including:

  • Employer Pull Notice
  • Driver timekeeping records
  • Driver proficiency records
  • Driver employment application

Hazardous Material Records:

  • Hazardous Material training for staff, cargo tank(s), shipping papers
  • Maintenance Records
  • Daily vehicle inspection reports
  • Preventive maintenance inspection reports
  • Documentation of all inspections, maintenance, lubrication, and repair

The CSA is the safety compliance and enforcement program of the FMCSA which holds motor carriers and drivers accountable for their role in safety. CSA affects motor carriers, including owner-operators, by identifying those with safety problems and prioritizes them for interventions such as warning letters and investigations. CSA affects drivers because their safety performance and compliance impact their safety records. Equally important, while working for a motor carrier, problem drivers will impact their carrier’s safety record.

How CSA Tracks Safety Data

Your company’s safety data appears online in FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS). FMCSA updates the SMS once a month with data from roadside inspections, including driver and vehicle violations; crash reports from the last two years and investigation results. The SMS considers:

  • The number of safety violations and inspections,
  • The severity of safety violations or crashes,
  • When the safety violations occurred, with recent events weighted more heavily,
  • The number of trucks/buses a carrier operates and the number of vehicle miles traveled, and
  • Serious Violations found during investigations.


FMCSA organizes the SMS data into seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) which are listed below.

  1. Unsafe Driving which includes but is not limited to speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, inattention, no seatbelts.
  2. Crash Indicator which includes histories of crash involvement (not public).
  3. Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance which reviews noncompliance with HOS regulations including logbooks.
  4. Vehicle Maintenance which includes but is not limited to brakes, lights, defects, failure to make required repairs.
  5. Controlled Substances/Alcohol which is the use/possession of controlled substances/alcohol.
  6. Hazardous Materials Compliance which includes but is not limited to leaking containers, improper packaging, and/or placarding (not public).
  7. Driver Fitness which includes but is not limited to an invalid license and medically unfit to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle.

Since these government programs are always in a state of change, stay tuned for more updates, particularly in the hours-of-service category which has turned into a political issue in Washington.

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