American Trucking Associations (ATA) officials said they are pleased to see that the long-awaited review of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) safety monitoring system substantiated many of the concerns ATA has raised about the program.
“We appreciate the work the National Academies of Science (NAS) has done in helping motor carriers, FMCSA and the general public learn about the limitations of CSA,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This report has confirmed much of what we have said about the program for some time: the program, while a valuable enforcement tool, has significant shortcomings that must be addressed, and we look forward to working with FMCSA to strengthen the program.”
Specifically, ATA noted the NAS study validated the trucking industry’s concerns about the inclusion of certain types of violations in the CSA system, that geographic enforcement disparities can have a significant impact on carriers’ scores and that the collection and use of clean inspections is critical to the accuracy of the program.
“We strongly agree with the National Academies’ conclusion that CSA should be based less on the ‘subject-matter expertise’ of enforcement and more on the empirically validated data,” said ATA Director of Safety Policy Sean Garney. “We also see great potential in the Academies’ recommendation that FMCSA overhaul the current CSA methodology in favor of a new, more adaptive, data-centric model with the potential to address serious flaws in the system.
“To maximize CSA’s potential, there is an urgent need to address issues regarding data sufficiency and accuracy—specifically when looking at crash and carrier exposure data,” Garney said. “Until more study—and correction—of these issues is complete, ATA strongly believes FMCSA should continue to keep CSA scores out of the public domain.”