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Broker group calls for removal of 'unreliable, useless' public CSA scores

April 20, 2015
TIA wants clear 'yes or no' system for carrier selection

The Transportation Intermediaries Assn. (TIA) is the latest industry group to come out against publicly posting the government’s carrier rankings under the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program.

The TIA board voted in favor of the policy change at a meeting in Orlando, FL, last week. 

“TIA members want FMCSA to provide a highly reliable system to indicate ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on whether or not to use a motor carrier. Today’s CSA is not only unreliable, but is proven useless for commercial carrier selection purposes,” said TIA Chairman Jeff Tucker. “Worse yet, accident-chasing lawyers have maligned CSA by misinterpreting scores in order to line their pockets, at the expense of good businesses. This move by TIA reflects the latest positive step for the association, as we continue the pursuit of facts, good data and a day where they drive solid decisions in the marketplace.”

TIA maintains that the FMCSA Safety Rating alone determines a motor carrier’s fitness for use, and should always take precedence over “any single score, or collection of scores, or data set, including CSA’s BASIC scores.”

The association now joins other organizations such as American Trucking Assns. (ATA), the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. (OOIDA), the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), and the Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation (ASECTT) in urging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) to immediately remove CSA scores from public view.

In a statement, TIA noted that “multiple sources both inside and outside the Federal Government,” including the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General’s Office, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), have concluded that “CSA is plagued with serious data flaws.”

Additionally, “CSA scores continue to be publicly available and, therefore, manipulated and misused in litigation” and as tools for carrier selection, despite the explicit FMCSA website warning that CSA was designed and intended exclusively for Agency and law enforcement use, and not for public consumption.  

TIA also contends “FMCSA conduct has exacerbated this challenge,” as the agency continues to urge segments of the public to use CSA scores “for purposes for which they were not intended and to which they are ill suited.”

TIA has endorsed recently introduced legislation to protect shippers and brokers from liability claims related to motor carrier selection.

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