March 17, 2015 11:30 AM, EDT

FMCSA Offers App for Truck Safety Information

Safety performance information on trucking and bus companies is available through a new smart phone application authorized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

QCMobile is made for Apple and Android devices, FMCSA said March 17. Law enforcement personnel and people in the insurance and third-party logistics industries make up the primary target group, but it is available to the public, the statement said.

QC stands for “query central.”

“We are providing greater transparency while making our roadways safer for everyone,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in discussing the app.

“Aggressive safety enforcement, research, and technology development and deployment, combined with strong stakeholder participation, will continue to be directed toward removing unsafe trucks and buses from our roadways and protecting every traveler from needless harm,” FMCSA acting Administrator Scott Darling said.

American Trucking Associations took umbrage with the announcement, calling it “recklessness cloaking itself as transparency.”

The statistical underpinning of the safety scores has drawn criticism from the Government Accountability Office as well as some trucking companies. The scores are part of FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability programs.

ATA has said the scores are fine for federal and state law-enforcement personnel, but the group has opposed the posting of scores for individual motor carriers online.

“It is wholly inappropriate for FMCSA to encourage and facilitate public access and use,” ATA spokesman Sean McNally said . "The agency should immediately pull this tool from the marketplace."

The app requires no log-in and immediately reveals whether the federal operating status of the carrier is authorized. This would help to expedite an “inspect/pass” decision by a commercial vehicle safety inspector.

QCMobile retrieves data from several FMCSA sources.