Trucking industry representatives told a House panel the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s latest program needs work on the details.
Trucking executives told the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee that the Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 is a major step forward in safety, but the FMCSA still needs to attend to details before it begins the program’s next phase later this year.
Todd Spencer, executive secretary of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, said that CSA 2010 puts the burden for truck safety on carriers to ensure proper driver training and vehicle maintenance. While OOIDA supports the program, success “gets down to the devil in the details,” he said.
The FMCSA has had CSA 2010 under development for nearly three years. Administrator Ann S. Ferro told the committee that the agency will use widespread data collection and risk-management systems to identify and target enforcement efforts on companies with the poorest safety records.
Keith Klein, executive vice president of Transport Corporation of America, speaking for the American Trucking Associations, questioned the accuracy of CSA 2010 data. For example, police may issue tickets or warnings during a roadside safety inspection, but both will be counted equally under CSA’s data collection system.
Klein also said that CSA 2010 provided no accounting for fault in truck crashes. A driver who is rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light will have the same mark against him as one who is speeding.
Such concerns about data collection were echoed by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chairman of the subcommittee. He noted that CSA 2010 data could be skewed because states where police can stop and inspect trucks for probable cause have higher violation rates than states that don’t give police that authority.
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