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Trucking Regulation Experts:
The House Introduced a Bill
Targeting the FMCSA CSA Scores

Truck Regulations Expert Witness / Truck Standard of Care Expert Witness Articles

By Scott Greene

Representative Lou Barletta a Republican from Pennsylvania introduced a bill that targets the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. If passed, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) would be forced to remove from public view the current motor carrier ranking system. In addition, the program and the rankings would be restructured as part of the bill.

FMCSA CSA Logo - Truck Driver Qualifications ExpertTruck Regulations Expert Witness

The “Safer Trucks and Buses Act of 2015” is very similar to a bill introduced by Barletta in the previous Congress.

Brokers, motor carriers and even some government agencies have applied pressure to the legislature to revise the current CSA ranking system. Some organizations have called for it to be removed from public view.

The CSA scores have become a hot topic of late. In the last week, the FMCSA released the QCMobile app, which grants easy mobile access to CSA ratings. The app, which is available on the iPhone and Android platforms, allows easy access to the current CSA scores. In addition, company information is also made readily available.

The overall criticism is that insurance companies, freight brokers and forwarders along with general public and others are able to see the scores. Many in the trucking industry believe the CSA scores are flawed and may cause bias against certain carriers. Some believe that the public nature of the scores may prevent motor carriers and truckers from being hired, insured or be able to hire employees.

Barletta believes his bill can fix the CSA scoring problems. Specifically the bill will change the way the data is collected and used to calculate the CSA scores. If passed, the bill would require that the FMCSA  work with the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to rework CSA scoring system.  According to the NAPA’s website, the organization is: “The Academy is an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan organization established to assist government leaders in building more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent organizations.” The site goes on to say: “Our Fellows have a deep understanding of financial management, human resources, technology, and administrative functions at all levels of government, and direct most of Academy's studies.”

Included in the directive for the FMCSA to work with the NAPA is:

  1. Address the differences between bus and truck companies
  2. Limit the data used to calculate the CSA score to “safety data determined to be predictive of motor carrier crashes,” with an emphasis on accuracy.
  3. Rework the system to reduce the hard cause to small motor carriers: “as a result of limited safety data availability.”
  4. In addition, the bill calls for better control over the data that is reported by the State as well as the motor carrier agencies themselves.
  5. Finally,the bill calls for the scores to be appropriately adjusted based upon “geographical differences with respect to enforcement”.

 NAPA is based in Washington DC.


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