In a letter to DOT Secretary Anthony Fox, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance joined trucking industry representatives in the U.S. by stating Safety Measurement System scores should be available to police but not to the public.
In the letter, CVSA Executive Director Stephen Keppler defended CSA as “a very good program with tremendous potential” reports Heavy Duty Trucking magazine.
He told HDT the data that is available to the public are being used incorrectly, and this is affecting the enforcement community’s work. “People are using the information in ways it was not designed to be used, particularly when they don’t understand all the information,” he said.
“Making the information available to people who don’t understand what it means can create challenges for enforcement in terms of how it does its work. It can create operational impacts on states when people make assertions about the program that are not correct.”
With this letter, CVSA joins trucking interests such as the ATA that have been saying the data should be publicized. ATA argues the scores are neither consistent nor accurate, and should be available only to the carriers, the agency and enforcement personnel.
FMCSA has responded by saying the SMS system has improved safety by making carrier violations and safety records publicly available.
CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) uses data from crashes and roadside inspections to flag carriers for enforcement action. The SMS system categorizes this data and produces scores intended to highlight carriers that need attention.
In his letter, Keppler said the enforcement community appreciates carrier concerns about SMS. “The (jurisdiction) in which carriers operate can impact the accuracy of their measurements,” he said, adding that the score’s do not accurately determine an individual carrier’s propensity to be involved in a future crash.
“Their utility in providing the public with information about fleets’ safety performance is limited,” he said.
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