Research Project

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Research to Support FMCSA Implementation of Beyond Compliance Process and Program (FAST Act, Section 5222)


To provide a foundation of studies, experience, data on technology and safety program effectiveness, and potential methodologies and evaluation approaches to support implementation of the “Beyond Compliance” requirements outlined in Section 5222 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, 2015 (FAST Act).


The FAST Act requires the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to allow recognition, including credit or an improved Safety Measurement System (SMS) percentile, for motor carriers that install advanced safety equipment; use enhanced driver fitness measures; adopt fleet safety management tools, technologies, and programs; and satisfy other standards determined appropriate by the Administrator. The FAST Act also requires FMCSA to carry out the “Beyond Compliance” provisions through:
  • Incorporating a methodology into the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program or the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories of the SMS.
  • Developing a process for identifying elements of technology and safety programs as a basis for recognition.
  • Seeking input from stakeholders.
  • Considering a monitoring program.
  • Disseminating information on the Beyond Compliance program.


During this project, the contracted research team will: 
  • Conduct a literature review. 
  • Assess the effectiveness of safety management practices used by a diverse group of high-performing motor carriers; develop a framework of carrier best practices.
  • Identify the most effective performance measures and appropriate metrics for determining programs and technologies appropriate for the Beyond Compliance program.
  • Develop recommendations on how FMCSA can initiate and build a Beyond Compliance program that ensures progressive growth while minimizing Agency resources.
  • Provide FMCSA with recommendations for methods of monitoring the program and estimated costs for operating such a program.


Final report.



December 2015: FAST Act signed into law
May 2017: Phase I research awarded
August 2017: Literature review completed
November 2017: Study design finalized
April 2018: ICR process begun
July 2019: Phase II research awarded
October 2019: ICR approved by OMB
April 2020: Data collection completed
May 2020: Peer review of findings
July 2020: Draft report received
January 2021: Report sent to Congress


FY17 Funding: $282,500

Project Manager:

For more information, contact Nicole Michel of the Research Division at (202) 366-4354 or


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Updated: Wednesday, June 12, 2019
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