In implementing 11 changes to the Safety Measurement System in its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program on Monday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration not only reaffirmed its commitment to keeping unsafe trucking companies off the road, but also indicated that the CSA initiative is a work in progress.
“We are improving our focus on the highest risk carriers,” FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro said. “We’ve made a clear commitment to continue to enhance CSA.”
The commitment includes releasing a proposed rule that would create a new safety fitness determination process for trucking companies, Ferro told reporters.
She said a “very robust safety fitness rule” that would replace the current audit-based safety rating system would be proposed sometime in the first half of 2013.
The lack of a CSA-based safety rating system concerns shippers and brokers that fear a carrier's public BASIC scores could open them to liability in an accident lawsuit.
A three-part review of how crash accountability data can be incorporated into CSA scores, a major issue for motor carriers, will be completed by next July, she said.
Ferro defended the program against criticism from trucking and shipper groups that find fault with its methodology and lack of a new carrier safety rating system.
Told a recent American Transportation Research Institute survey found CSA was the top concern of trucking executives, she called that “great news.”
“The discussion is rightly at the top of everybody’s agenda,” Ferro said. “It’s on everybody’s list and people are paying attention to the program.”
Ferro attributed an 8 percent decline in the number of motor vehicle violations in roadside inspections and a 10 percent decline in driver violations to CSA. “That’s the most dramatic decrease in violation rates in a decade,” she said, adding that FMCSA's CSA Web site had more than 40 million visitors last year.