Intermodal operators want federal regulators to do a better job identifying who is responsible for safety violations — motor carriers or intermodal equipment providers — when “scoring” companies under the Compliance, Safety, Accountability initiative.
The Intermodal Association of North America said Monday regulators should use “attribution processes” developed last fall with the involvement of law enforcement, motor carriers and equipment providers to allocate violations under CSA to the right party.
Standard processes should be used to guide and manage how motor carriers and intermodal equipment providers are held responsible for specific types of violations, from vehicle maintenance to fatigued driving, the association said.
The comments filed by IANA raise a new wrinkle in the controversial CSA initiative for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to iron out. The watchdog agency is already wrestling with a similar challenge in regard to truck accidents.
The CSA currently does not distinguish between accidents in which a carrier is at fault and those where a carrier is not at fault — another issue IANA raised in its comments on proposed changes to the CSA’s safety measurement system.
The FMCSA launched a year-long study of crash weighting and accountability under CSA July 23, promising to “analyze a process” for updating the state-reported crash records it receives to include a determination of a trucker’s role in a crash.
IANA also expressed concern that the CSA scores are based on percentile rankings rather than “absolute indicators” of a carrier’s safety performance. In other words, CSA is graded on a curve, against a group, “regardless of actual performance.”
The association responded to a request for comment on proposed changes to the CSA safety measurement system, the methodology the FMCSA uses to create the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category or BASIC scores.
The FMCSA issued a notice in the March 27 Federal Register stating it plans to improve its SMS to better identify biases in data collection and create scores.