The House on Nov. 4 easily defeated an effort by Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) to keep safety performance scores for motor carriers public while federal regulators review the program responsible for the scoring.
Frankel’s proposal, an amendment to a multiyear highway bill, failed by a voice vote. It would have kept the Compliance, Safety, Accountability scores publicly available while the National Research Council of the National Academies reviewed the CSA program.
“The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration did a study that found that Compliance, Safety, Accountability scores accurately predict safety performance by drivers. These scores are currently used by brokers and shippers to identify unsafe carriers,” Frankel said on the floor immediately before a vote on her amendment. “Studies show that since this [CSA] system has been used, there has been a 14% reduction in serious violations of the law. The base bill requires another study that will take at least 18 months and hides important safety statistics during this time.”
Speaking in opposition to the amendment, Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee, stressed the need to reform the CSA program.
Under the highway bill, FMCSA would be required to make “corrective actions” to CSA that includes an in-depth review. During the review, certain CSA scores would be removed from public view. While proponents argue CSA’s data is reliable, most of the trucking sector disagrees.
Frankel’s amendment was among 81 proposed changes the House has taken on during floor debate of a multiyear highway bill.