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Performance and Registration Information Systems Management (PRISM) is a cooperative Federal-State safety program developed to reduce commercial vehicle accidents. PRISM utilizes the commercial vehicle registration process of the States to improve motor carrier safety in two ways:
What is PRISM?
Within the State commercial vehicle registration process, the International Registration Plan (IRP) provides the framework for the PRISM program by facilitating two vital functions. First, it establishes a system of accountability by ensuring that no vehicle is registered without identifying the responsible carrier for vehicle safety during the registration year. Second, the use of registration sanctions provides a powerful incentive for unsafe carriers to improve their safety performance.
The vehicle registration process ensures that all carriers engaged in interstate commerce are identified through a unique USDOT Number during vehicle registration. The safety fitness of each carrier can then be audited prior to issuing registration credentials. Those motor carriers that have been prohibited from operating in interstate commerce by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may be denied registration by the State.
The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Process (MCSIP) is a data-driven process that systematically uses current safety event information such as accidents, inspections, driver violations, compliance review data and other information to assess and monitor motor carrier safety performance. Safety events are assigned to the motor carrier responsible for the safety of the vehicle and are weighted according to severity, frequency and time since the occurrence.
MCSIP is designed to improve the safety performance of motor carriers through accurate identification, performance monitoring and treatment. Once the carrier exceeds the bounds of the established safety threshold, the motor carrier enters MCSIP. MCSIP provides opportunities for carriers to improve operations and return to a safe condition. Within MCSIP, carriers with potential safety problems are identified and prioritized for an on-site review using the Motor Carrier Safety Status (SafeStat) system developed for the PRISM program. If there is no improvement in the carrier's safety fitness record, a Federal operations out-of-service order and concurrent State registration suspension and/or revocation is the ultimate penalty.
How does PRISM affect roadside inspections?Motor carriers in the PRISM MCSIP process are recommended for roadside inspection. Once a motor carrier sufficiently improves its safety status to exit the MCSIP, they will no longer be recommended for inspection.
How does PRISM affect IRP registration?As noted earlier, the IRP serves as the framework for the PRISM program and is affected through USDOT registration and MCS-150 updates.
The motor carrier responsible for the safety of every vehicle and the registrant must identify their USDOT Number during the registration process.
An updated MCS-150 form must be submitted for each registrant and carrier responsible for safety on an IRP account unless the carrier and the registrant have each submitted a form within 12 months prior to the first day of the renewal period, or the motor carrier and the registrant have updated the information directly on the FMCSA web page (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov).
For many IRP accounts, the registrant that maintains the IRP account and the carrier that is responsible for safety are the same entity. Table A outlines USDOT Number and MCS-150 update requirements associated with PRISM and IRP registration in these instances.
In some cases, the IRP account registrant and the carrier responsible for the safety of individual vehicles on the account may be different. The following examples, in addition to the information in Table B, outline USDOT Number and MCS-150 update requirements associated with PRISM and IRP registration in common instances.
Rental/leasing companies that register in their own name must provide the USDOT Numbers and copies of updated MCS-150 forms to the registration office for their company and for all lessees that are responsible for vehicle safety. The USDOT number for the rental/leasing company should be recorded in the registrant section of the IRP Schedule A and the USDOT Number of the motor carrier responsible for safety should be recorded in the appropriate column of the individual vehicle section.
Rental/leasing companies registering in their own name
Owner/operators who register in their own names must obtain a USDOT Number for themselves. This number is for registration purposes only and does not provide the owner/operator with his/her own operating authority. In addition, the owner/operator must provide the USDOT Number for the company to whom he/she leases. Updated copies of the MCS-150 must be submitted for the owner/operator and all companies responsible for safety (the lessees). The companies must complete the MCS-150 forms. The owner/operator must record his/her USDOT Number in the registrant section of the IRP Schedule A. The USDOT Number of the motor carrier responsible for safety should be entered in the appropriate column at the individual vehicle level of the Schedule A.
Owner/operators registering in their own name, but leasing to motor carriers
Companies who use all leased vehicles registered in the name of the lessors (rental/leasing or owner/operators) must provide the lessor with an updated copy of the MCS-150. The lessor will submit the MCS-150 to the state registration office in order to have the vehicle's registration renewed.
Companies using only leased vehicles registered in the name of the lessors
PRISM demonstrates the following safety, economic and productivity benefits:
Accountability is achieved by accurately linking safety events (e.g. inspection, accident, driver moving violations) affecting a PRISM registered vehicle to the responsible carrier.
Carriers are identified, treated and released from a safety improvement program based upon a demonstrated improvement in highway performance after safety treatments have been completed.
SafeStat is a data-driven, performance-based tool used to identify potentially high-risk carriers for inclusion in the PRISM motor carrier safety improvement process (MCSIP). Under SafeStat, a carrier's safety performance is assessed based on all available data from roadside inspection, compliance reviews (CRs), accidents, enforcement history, etc. New safety information is added to this data source on a continuous basis, and SafeStat uses this information to provide current safety indicators for all carriers for which there is sufficient data.
The PRISM program has proven to be an effective means of getting motor carriers to improve their compliance and performance deficiencies. Motor carriers must improve their safety deficiencies or face progressively more stringent penalties up to a Federal out-of-service order and concurrent State registration sanctions.
PRISM has increased the efficiency and effectiveness of Federal and State safety efforts through:
The PRISM program has shown that an improvement in the accuracy and timeliness of data will result in better resource allocation and heightened efficiencies in the administration of major Federal and State safety data improvement initiatives as listed below.