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10/16/2012 8:30:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

ATA Urges FMCSA to Be ‘Candid’ on CSA Program’s Strengths, Weaknesses

Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance

American Trucking Associations said Tuesday that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration should be more “candid and transparent” in its evaluations of the strengths and weaknesses of its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

The group released a white paper outlining several examples of how FMCSA highlights the benefits of the CSA program, but could provide a clearer picture of the program’s weaknesses.

“ATA’s members are supportive of CSA’s objectives, but they are also eager to see FMCSA make much-needed improvements,” said Rob Abbott, ATA’s vice president for safety policy.

“However, the first step in that process is a candid acknowledgement of the program’s limitations,” he said. “Appropriate and effective recommendations will only come from fully informed participants”

ATA released its paper on the same day that a subcommittee of FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee is meeting to discuss recommended improvements to CSA.

ATA said in the paper that:

• Carriers’ scores in three of CSA’s seven measurement categories (43% of the system) do not effectively identify future crash risk;

• FMCSA only has sufficient violation data to assign a percentile rank (in at least one category) to 12% of active carriers; and

• As highlighted in a recent American Transportation Research Institute analysis, perceived safety risk is heavily dependent on the amount of data available on each motor carrier and it is wrong to conclude that carriers with insufficient data to be scored are safer than those that have reported data.

By Transport Topics

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