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FMCSA to begin test of new CSA scoring system in September

Aug. 16, 2018
Agency to hold a public meeting on Aug. 29

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.  

About the Author

Neil Abt

Neil Abt, editorial director at Fleet Owner, is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of reporting experience, including 15 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post newspaper, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics. Abt is based out of Portland, Oregon.

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