The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a 60-day extension of the time that motor carriers have to comment on proposed changes to the agency’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) in its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program.
The comment period now runs through July 30. During the extension, FMCSA will conduct further outreach to carriers to encourage them to review how proposed enhancements will affect their SMS score and take action to correct potential safety problems before the changes are implemented.
The board of directors for American Trucking Assns. last month called on the FMCSA to make changes to its Compliance, Safety, Accountability safety-monitoring system, calling the agency “unresponsive” to carriers’ concerns about the unreliability of scores and suggestions from truckers on how to improve the program.
In a statement, ATA’s board and members said that CSA scores are often loose and, at times, have an inverse connection to crash risk. The fleet executives also said that FMCSA’s “unwillingness to frankly discuss the program’s weaknesses is very troubling and needs to be addressed.”
“We are all concerned with safety and agree that FMCSA should do everything in its power to enforce the rules,” said ATA chairman Dan England, chairman of C.R. England, Salt Lake City. “However, it is becoming increasingly clear that parts of the program are in need of serious revision — particularly before FMCSA begins using them to generate publicly available fitness scores.”
Among the issues ATA has identified for reform are: crash accountability, the lack of research proving increased crash risk for all of CSA’s various violation categories and the publication of carriers' scores in those categories.
Carriers can access the SMS Preview through either the CSA website or the FMCSA Portal using the “CSA Outreach” link. For more information about CSA, visit http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov. Contact Shashunga Clayton: 202-366-9999.