FMCSA Official Defends New CSA App

John Sommers II for Transport Topics

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration senior official at the Mid-America Trucking Show defended a new smartphone application designed to facilitate access to certain performance data, a feature strongly opposed by the industry.

“Having that information right at your fingertips is something that everybody can do,” said Anne Collins, FMCSA’s associate administrator for field operations, on March 28. “It works pretty well.”

Collins encouraged people to download the app, saying that doing so ultimately would improve roadway safety. The QCMobile app that launched March 17 retrieves data from FMCSA’s network and offers law enforcement officers and safety inspectors the ability to  retrieve information recorded in the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

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But while agency officials touted the online tool, industry leaders have come out strongly against it.

American Trucking Associations called the app’s launch “recklessness cloaking itself as transparency.” In comments recently filed with FMCSA, ATA urged the agency to change its CSA safety measurement system so that all crashes, regardless of blame, are not posted on FMCSA’s website list of carriers that’s accessible via the QCMobile app.

“FMCSA’s failure to address this real flaw is especially egregious in light of its push to make CSA scores easier for the public to access and its encouragement that the public make decisions based on what they know to be faulty information,” ATA President Bill Graves said in a statement. 

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, determined this month that FMCSA has demonstrated challenges in its reliability of CSA’s safety measurement system in predicting carrier crashes. GAO also noted FMCSA had not adopted its recommendation that FMCSA revise aspects of the program’s methodology.