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Federal Truck Regulations Expert:
"CSA Scores Would No Longer be Public if House Bill Passes"

FMCSR Expert Witness / Truck Regulation Expert Witness Articles

By Scott Greene

A bill introduced by Congressman Lou Barletta (R Pa.) onSeptember 18, 2014, would remove motor carrier rankings and scores from theFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety,Accountability (CSA) program.

Truck Accident Expert Witness: FMCSA Logo

Barletta’s “Safer Trucks and Buses Act” would require the FMCSA to remove the public’s ability to review the rankings and scores on thenewly redesigned CSA website. In addition, it would require the agency to create and submit a plan for improving the CSA rankings and scores along with a time line for its implementation. Once the plan was executed, the CSA scores could be put back into public view.

Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, has been inundated with calls from trucking groups asking him to take down the scores from public view. The industry groups cite the system as having poor performance at measuring carriers’ crash risk. The industry groups indicate the scores cause the public, carrier customers and third party organizations to make judgments about a particular motor carrier’s safety.

According to the CSA Website: “Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicles. It introduces a new enforcement and compliance model that allows FMCSA and its State Partners to contact a larger number of carriers earlier in order to address safety problems before crashes occur. Rolled out in December 2010, the program establishes a new nationwide system for making the roads safer for motor carriers and the public alike!”

Apparently the Safety Measurement System (SMS) is reviewed often by the public: “As a father of four daughters, I worry every day about the safety of my girls, and I strongly believe that unsafe vehicles should not be on the road,” Barletta said. “Unfortunately, companies across the country and in Pennsylvania are being unfairly misrepresented by their safety scores, causing economically devastating impacts to these bus and truck companies, many of which are small businesses.”

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) based in Arlington VA, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) which is based in Grain Valley, MI and the National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC) based in Gallatin, TN have all voiced support for the bill.

The bill was referred to the House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. For the bill to become law, it must be passed by both the House and the Senate and signed by the president.

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