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The DOT Doctor Speaks
Monday, July 16 2012

On July 11, 2012, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Deputy Administrator Bill Bronrott testified about the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program before the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Small Business. Deputy Bronrott’s written testimony discusses CSA’s safety benefits and its impact on small businesses, and is posted on FMCSA’s Website. Some of the key points of the testimony are listed below:

  • Independent analysis indicates the CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) is a significant improvement over prior systems to effectively meet FMCSA’s Congressional mandate to investigate high-risk carriers.
  • The CSA SMS is effectively monitoring the motor carrier industry. The 200,000 carriers with sufficient data to be scored in the SMS are involved in 93% of the crashes reported to FMCSA.
  • The CSA SMS is not biased against small business. While carriers with 5 or less power units make up over 85% of the industry, 93% of these small carriers do not score poorly in any area of the SMS.
  • Analysis of the CSA interventions model demonstrated an overall 35% increase in the number of carriers reached per Safety Investigator. CSA uses Onsite Focused Investigations and warning letters, which are effective in improving compliance and less intrusive and time-consuming for motor carriers.
  • From CSA rollout in December 2010 until the end of 2011, violations per roadside inspection declined by 8% and driver violations per inspection declined by 12%. This the most significant improvement in violation rates in the last 10 years.

The Agency is committed to continuous improvement of the CSA program. In fact, five proposed enhancements to SMS are currently being previewed by motor carriers based on specific industry and enforcement personnel feedback since SMS rollout in December 2010. These proposed enhancements are outlined in the Federal Docket Management System and were the topic of a recent public webinar series held by the Agency. Overall, 670 participants listened in, many of whom have expressed positive feedback. The presentation is now available to everyone on the CSA Website.

 

My thoughts -

There are also reports that companies who run team drivers are being inappropriate sanctioned due to the driver/truck ratio.   Teams run so many miles vs. solo drivers that the miles vs. truck vs. incident ratio is disproportionate.   I know that does not concern us but just an update to the CSA ordeal.  

I am sure you have heard that the government is trying to force mandatory EOBR in all vehicles.   Many trucking groups are opposing and fighting this at the moment.  If it passes, it would mean each of our O/Os would have to have a "black box" put in their truck.   The cost to a small business will force many of them to close.   Most O/Os can't afford such a thing on their shoe-string budgets.  It would also decrease the productivity of daily work due to firm compliance.  Great for the "big boys" like Schneider, JB Hunt, CRST, etc... due to all the info these boxes return about the driver and the equipment but not so good for the rest of us.

What are you thoughts and opinions on these matters?

Posted by: Andrea Sitler PhD AT 11:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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