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House bill would block CSA scores from the public

Sept. 22, 2014

A member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee has introduced legislation (H.R. 5532) that would order the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to stop publishing individual motor carriers’ scores under the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program until the agency has improved the data, according to a plan it would submit to Congress. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), also would prevent scores under CSA and the Safety Measurement System that underlies it from being used in crash liability cases.

Over the past month, 20 trucking-related organizations in two separate letters to Dept. of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx have asked that FMCSA pull down from its public websites SMS metrics on the grounds that the data and methodology behind them are flawed.

In introducing the bill, Barletta said that “companies across the country and in Pennsylvania are being unfairly misrepresented by their safety scores, causing economically devastating impacts to these bus and truck companies, many of which are small businesses.”

Barletta cited an example of a company in his district that had never had a roadway accident and employed drivers with an average of 35 years’ experience. But recently one driver – who was promptly dismissed in accordance with company policy – was cited twice for minor violations, and the company’s CSA score suffered. Barletta said the situation has costs the business about $1.5 million in lost revenue, forcing it to cut its fleet in half. Meanwhile, that driver has moved on to another company, which is unaffected by the driver’s past violations, he said.

Groups supporting Barletta’s bill include the American Trucking Assns., National Assn. of Small Trucking Companies, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn., Pennsylvania Motor Truck Assn., and Pennsylvania Bus Assn.

About the Author

Avery Vise | Contributing editor

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