ATA Calls on FMCSA to Release Crash Accountability Study

Arlington, Va. – Today, American Trucking Associations called on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro to release the results of FMCSA’s study on the use of police reports to determine crash accountability.

“FMCSA continues to use crashes that motor carriers did not cause nor could have prevented in measuring motor carrier safety performance,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “Several weeks ago, the agency indefinitely placed on hold a process to correct this fundamental flaw in the system, citing, in part, concerns with the reliability and usefulness of police accident reports. To better understand FMCSA’s reluctance to act, the public should see the results of the study the agency promised almost two years ago.”

Currently, the agency’s motor carrier safety-monitoring and measurement system –Compliance, Safety, Accountability – ranks carriers based on all truck-involved crashes, including those that the carrier did not cause nor could have prevented. In exploring a system to correct this flaw, FMCSA conducted a study of the feasibility of using police reports more than two years ago, but never made the results public.

In an August 2010 letter to ATA, FMCSA acknowledged it was in process of reviewing the findings of the feasibility study and offered to make them public upon completion of the review, but has yet to do so, preventing stakeholders from understanding the agency’s rationale for failing to make this common sense change.

In response to ATA’s efforts, FMCSA announced its intention to establish a process to review police accident reports and make crash accountability determinations. However, just prior to publishing its planned process, the agency put the brakes on and declared that additional study was needed.

“To live up to its goal to be open and transparent, FMCSA should release the results of its study, identify the specific concerns that caused it to place the planned solution on hold, and commit to a timeline for addressing this issue,” said Graves.

ATA supports the goal of CSA to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities by identifying unsafe motor carriers and prioritizing them for agency intervention, however without further improvements, the system will struggle to meet that objective.
 

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