When Washington politicians made an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff in January, many thought the country had been steered away from economic collapse. However, part of their deal called for massive government spending decreases to kick in March 1 if Congress was unable to come up with a plan to cut the deficit. This sequestration could hit all programs and agencies equally, and some are wondering if these spending cuts have the potential to impact the bodies responsible for maintaining the nation's roadways and safety rules.
So far, the approximately $1.2 trillion in spending cuts seem to be set to go through, as politicians haven't yet made progress on a bill to avoid them. While many departments are likely to see serious funding cuts, it's unlikely the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be heavily impacted by this sequestration, according to Commercial Carrier Journal - Digital. Because some experts doubt these mandated spending limitations will have much of an effect on government transportation agencies and bodies, companies will need to take note and ensure their operations are up to date and meet compliance standards.
Preparation essential, even if cuts don't kick in
Fleets should always take the necessary steps to ensure federal and state compliance, especially since it is looking less likely most transportation agencies will see mandated severe funding cuts. This could mean initiating the use of fleet management software, which can keep them in contact with drivers and ensure vehicles are being operated safely - a key aspect to improving Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) scores. The CSA program is likely to remain a high priority for transportation agencies, especially with federal spending cuts in this area appearing less probable.
Carriers and fleet owners can also look to fleet maintenance software to better track repair and maintenance work that needs to be conducted on a truck, which helps ensure vehicles are in proper working order and will safely pass most roadside inspections. Better driver communications, vehicle performance monitoring and fleet maintenance visibility can help a firm avoid more safety noncompliance issues and negative impacts on CSA scores. In addition, these systems can help reduce operating costs, increase asset productivity and utilization and lay the groundwork for greater profitability.