It appears the ATA and the FMCSA are at it again. The American Trucking Association is urging the FMCSA to reveal the results of their study on the use of police reports to determine crash accountability.
Currently, the FMCSA’s stance on crash accountability is that all truck crashes result in a negative CSA score for the driver, regardless of who is at fault. The FMCSA initially stated that police records from the crash were not reliable enough to determine who was at fault– resulting in the FMCSA’s no-fault crash policy.
The FMCSA conducted a study of the feasibility of using police reports. At that time, the ATA requested to see the results of the study.
Additionally, the FMCSA used the study to develop the CSA scoring system.
The FMCSA responded to the ATA’s request, saying that they could not release the results of the study, because its findings were preliminary and were still being reviewed.
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, ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said.
For the past two years, the ATA has made repeated requests to review the results of the study. The FMCSA has yet to reveal the results of the study.
On June 4, 2012, the ATA called on FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro to release the results of the study.
“In response to ATA’s efforts, FMCSA announced its intention to establish a process to review police accident reports and make crash accountability determinations. However, just prior to publishing its planned process, the agency put the brakes on and declared that additional study was needed,” the ATA stated in a press release.
FMCSA continues to use crashes that motor carriers did not cause nor could have prevented in measuring motor carrier safety performance, 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.
The ATA states that it supports the goal of CSA to reduce crashes, but says without further improvements, the system will struggle to meet that objective.