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ATA Continues to Find FMCSA’s Safety Proposals ‘Very Troubling’

July 30, 2015 By: Trucking News Staff Tags: Fleet Management, News, Regulations, Safety

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) urged the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to do more to improve its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) carrier monitoring system.

“ATA is grateful that FMCSA has been receptive to the industry’s request that CSA better account for accident exposure and to compare carriers with similar operations. We are disappointed, though, that the agency is still proposing only minor changes to CSA,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves in comments filed Wednesday by the organization.

Since CSA’s launch, the ATA has supported the goals of the program, but numerous reviews of how FMCSA administers the program and the data it uses have found it fundamentally lacking. Most recently, a DOT-appointed independent review team offered a series of recommendations to reform the program.

“After having a year to consider the recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board-requested independent review team to distinguish form and manner violations from those that cause crashes, FMCSA appears to have dismissed it out of hand,” said Rob Abbott, ATA’s vice president of safety policy.

“We find this very troubling because the agency is missing an opportunity to improve safety by placing more focus on high-risk carriers.”

The independent review team, along with GAO and Congress, have found fault with the data FMCSA’s uses to compute CSA scores, which often have little relationship to future crash risk, and can create a misleading portrayal of a carrier’s safety record.

“ATA has repeatedly called on the agency to remove the scores CSA produces from public view while it fixes these serious issues,” Graves said. “Ironically, while Congress is putting final touches on legislation to require that FMCSA take this step, the agency is only proposing superficial changes to the system and actually suggests making more flawed data public.”

To read ATA’s full comments, visit