A new bill has been introduced in the Senate that would create a national trucking company hiring standard for shippers and third-party contractors.
Supporters of the bill, called the “Transportation and Logistics Hiring Reform Act,” say that it is an attempt to protect businesses from lawsuits when they hire unsafe trucking companies based off of CSA scores.
According to bill supporter Robert Voltmann, “(companies) are tired of having their livelihood put at risk every time a motor carrier is hired, because the (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) lacks the resolve to remove unsafe carriers from our nation’s highways.”
The new bill would set standards that define a motor carrier as safe to operate if it is properly licensed, has adequate insurance, and shows that it has a better than “unsatisfactory” rating from the FMCSA. The bill’s supporters say that this would free shippers from the burden of second guessing the FMCSA and CSA scores that don’t accurately reflect a company’s safety record.
The new bill would only allow data from the new hiring standard to be used against hiring companies in a legal case. Further, the bill would require the FMCSA to link CSA data with carrier safety ratings within the next 18 months.
The FMCSA defends its current use of the controversial CSA scores, saying that it is the most cost-effective method of regulating the nation’s millions of truck drivers with scarce resources and limited manpower.