ATA Calls Crash Accountability Reports Flawed

Last week American Trucking Associations called on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro to release the results of FMCSA’s study on the use of police reports to determine crash accountability.

“FMCSA continues to use crashes that motor carriers did not cause nor could have prevented in measuring motor carrier safety performance,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “Several weeks ago, the agency indefinitely placed on hold a process to correct this fundamental flaw in the system, citing, in part, concerns with the reliability and usefulness of police accident reports. To better understand FMCSA’s reluctance to act, the public should see the results of the study the agency promised almost two years ago.”

Currently, the agency’s motor carrier safety-monitoring and measurement system—Compliance, Safety, Accountability—ranks carriers based on all truck-involved crashes, including those that the carrier did not cause nor could have prevented. In exploring a system to correct this flaw, FMCSA conducted a study of the feasibility of using police reports more than two years ago, but, according to ATA, never made the results public.

In an August 2010 letter to ATA, FMCSA acknowledged it was in the process of reviewing the findings of the feasibility study and offered to make them public upon completion of the review. ATA says the agency has yet to do so, and in delaying, prevents stakeholders from understanding the agency’s rationale for failing to make this change.

“To live up to its goal to be open and transparent, FMCSA should release the results of its study, identify the specific concerns that caused it to place the planned solution on hold, and commit to a timeline for addressing this issue,” said Graves.

ATA says it supports the goal of CSA to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities by identifying unsafe motor carriers and prioritizing them for agency intervention, but that without further improvements, the system will struggle to meet that objective.

Related Editorial:

ATA Challenges Reliability of CSA Safety Monitoring

U.S. DOT Orders J&A Transport Shutdown

OSHA to Form Whistleblower Protection Committee

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