CSA Highway Safety
House Highways and Transit John J. Duncan
Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit John J. Duncan (R- TN).

Good news for smaller carriers and independent drivers this week in Washington, as a bi-partisan committee has put the FMCSA on notice about concerns based on the CSA safety system and its integrity.They have petitioned the group to conduct an audit of the system that shows that it will actually improve road safety and deter crash risk.

In a letter to Inspector General Calvin L. Scovel III, Rep. John J. Duncan, R-Tenn., and Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., pointed to a recent subcommittee hearing during which “data and mythology concerns were raised that may be undermining CSA’s effectiveness.”

Duncan and DeFazio said witnesses at the hearing raised concerns that a lack of adequate safety data, inappropriate weighting of violations and other scoring problems “are causing CSA to erroneously label safety performance.” They have called for an audit that will need to submit its first assessment by August 2013.

More about the CSA at CDL Life

The request for the audit came after two lawsuits had brought enough evidence that the FMCSA safety system is based on incomplete data, created from an issue based on false data. The two groups currently bringing these issues to courts are the OOIDA and the Teamsters Union.

On Oct. 16, the American Trucking Associations issued a white paper on the program.  It indicated carriers’ scores in three of CSA’s seven measurement categories do not effectively identify future crash risk. Also, that the FMCSA only has sufficient violation data to assign a percentile rank in at least one category to 12 percent of carriers.

That same day, the agency’s CSA Subcommittee of Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee began a two-day meeting. The MCSAC established the subcommittee at its August meeting to provide the FMCSA recommendations on the CSA program.

The letter also noted that witnesses cited an analysis by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute that revealed that motor carriers’ CSA scores in some categories did not bear a strong resemblance to crash risk.

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