Orlando, FL - Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) Board of Directors voted in favor of changing the TIA’s policy concerning the public availability of data generated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) initiative. TIA joins with other industry stakeholders urging FMCSA to immediately remove CSA scores from public view.
FMCSA’s launch of CSA in December 2010 included assurances of a rulemaking to link CSA scores with a carrier’s safety rating through a Safety Fitness Determination (SFD). Since then, it has been confirmed by multiple sources both inside and outside the Federal Government, including the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General’s Office, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), that CSA is plagued with serious data flaws.
GAO has found that the CSA program has helped the Agency meet its objectives to a far greater degree than the SafeStat program that CSA replaced in 2010, but that there remain serious concerns about Safety Measurement System (SMS) score methodology within CSA, and the correlation between SMS scores and potential future crash risk. GAO has recommended that FMCSA revise its SMS methodology, to at least account for limitations in available performance information, and eliminate the use of safety event groups.
Specifically, GAO has noted that data quality is inconsistent as States vary on inspection and enforcement practices, and data elements used to calculate violation rates are based on information that is self-reported by the carrier, “Regardless of which type of model we fit, we see that the predictive power of our model is low, and the use of the SMS violations in predicting future crashes is not very precise.”
CSA scores continue to be publicly available and, therefore , manipulated and misused in litigation and as tools for carrier selection, despite the explicit FMCSA website warning that CSA was designed and intended exclusively for Agency and law enforcement use, and not for public consumption. FMCSA conduct has exacerbated this challenge, as the Agency continues to urge segments of the public to use CSA scores for purposes for which they were not intended and to which they are ill suited. TIA’s continuing attempts to work with FMCSA to address these issues have met with little success, which is why TIA seeks a legislative solution to the growing problem of negligent selection lawsuits.
TIA Chairman Mr. Jeff Tucker commented on the TIA policy position:
TIA members want FMCSA to provide a highly reliable system to indicate “yes” or “no” on whether or not to use a motor carrier. SFD is far off into the future. Today’s CSA is not only unreliable, but is proven useless for commercial carrier selection purposes. Worse yet, accident chasing lawyers have maligned CSA by misinterpreting scores in order to line their pockets, at the expense of good businesses. This move by TIA reflects the latest positive step for the Association, as we continue the pursuit of facts, good data and a day where they drive solid decisions in the marketplace.
It has been, and remains, TIA’s consistent position that the FMCSA Safety Rating alone determines a motor carrier’s fitness for use, and should always take precedence over, and clearly outweigh, any single score, or collection of scores, or data set, including CSA’s BASIC scores.
About TIA TIA is the professional organization of the $162 billion third party logistics industry. TIA is the only organization exclusively representing transportation intermediaries of all disciplines doing business in domestic and international commerce. TIA is the voice of transportation intermediaries to shippers, carriers, government officials and international organizations.