ATA Says Public CSA App ‘Irresponsible’

The American Trucking Associations  is objecting to the Federal Motor Carrier Administration’s move to release a smartphone app that will allow the public instant access to online safety performance data on interstate truck and bus companies.

ATA and other groups, including the enforcement community, have strongly opposed the enabling of public access to CSA scores. Their concern is that the data could be interpreted and used by the public incorrectly. Critics also claim certain portions of the score data is “unreliable” and does not accurately reflective of carriers’ safety fitness.

“Today’s announcement by the FMCSA is recklessness cloaking itself as transparency,” said ATA spokesman Sean McNally. “The Compliance, Safety, Accountability system was designed to better target potentially unsafe carriers, but a report issued by the GAO office last year characterized CSA safety scores as being unreliable and imprecise.”

The ATA went further saying the CSA often erroneously labels fleets as safe or unsafe which the FMCSA has looked past. The association added that given the unreliability of CSA scores, it was inappropriate for the FMCSA to encourage public access and use.

“We urge the public not to use this app given the serious flaws in CSA that have been identified by GAO and others,” said McNally.

FMCSA expects the app, called QCMobile, to be used as a tool for state and federal law enforcement as well as insurers, brokers, freight-forwarders and others interested in reviewing USDOT registration and safety performance of motor carriers.

Currently, law enforcement and safety inspectors use custom software to log into a national database to check safety information on truck and bus companies. The QCMobile app requires no log-in and can bring up the federal operating status of a carrier to expedite an inspect/pass decision by a certified commercial vehicle safety inspector.

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