The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said it will begin testing a new scoring system in September for its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.
The agency has filed a report with Congress outlining changes to the Safety Measurement System (SMS). As part of the 2015 highway funding bill known as the FAST Act, Congress required FMCSA to remove SMS rankings from public view.
Since that time, the National Academies of Science studied ways to make the rankings more accurate in the assessment of fleets’ risk of future crashes.
FMCSA announced it will hold a public meeting to discuss the changes on Aug. 29 in Arlington, VA. Details of the meeting can be found at fmcsa.dot.gov/fastact/csa.
Looking ahead to next year, the agency said it hopes to run a larger test in April and have further evaluated the full program by June. FMCSA said it expects the new system will allow carriers to more easily understand and calculate their safety scores.
In addition, it will work with states and carriers to better calculate data on vehicle miles traveled and crashes. It is all part of the larger goal to add a larger scoring system, rather than comparing similar carriers with peers as the CSA program previously had done.
The CSA program dates back the start of the decade, and has long been criticized by the industry for a variety of reasons, including what some saw as unfair posting of safety scores to the public and penalizing fleets and drivers for accidents that were not their fault.