The American Trucking Associations (ATA) and a coalition of other organizations wants the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admin to restrict access to carriers’ CSA scores.
ATA, which points to research that shows CSA scores are “unreliable” and not accurately reflective of carriers’ safety fitness, made the request in a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
“Given the results of this research we urge you to direct FMCSA to remove motor property and passenger carriers’ CSA Safety Measurement System scores from public view,” wrote ATA president Bill Graves and representatives of nine other industry groups. “Also, recognizing the merits of raising public awareness of fleets’ true safety performance in the future, we also call on you to direct FMCSA to make CSA improvements a high priority.”
The organizations say research from the Government Accountability Office found that, with respect to most carriers, “FMCSA lacks sufficient safety performance information to reliably compare them with other carriers.” The report went on to say that the lack of data “creates the likelihood that many SMS scores do not represent an accurate or precise safety assessment for a carrier.”
The letter concludes: “Given the many identified data sufficiency and reliability issues outlined by the Government Accountability Office, we urge you to direct FMCSA to remove carriers’ SMS scores from public view. Doing so will not only spare motor carriers harm from erroneous scores, but will also reduce the possibility that the marketplace will drive business to potentially risky carriers that are erroneously being painted as more safe.”
IN response, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx wrote back to ATA and other organizations defending the Safety Measurement System as a “game changer in improving safety by making company violations and safety records publicly available to consumers, law enforcement and other businesses.”
It added that the GAO’s recommendations consist of a “one-size-fits-all approach to analyzing inspection data, (which) would require the agency to triple the number of inspections we finance each year to exceed more than 10 million nationwide” – something that is “ unrealistic under our budget.”