House members call for CSA audit

Two House transportation subcommittee members are among those continuing to question Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability system.

Reps. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) asked the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General to report on the program by Aug. 1, 2013. Duncan, the Highways and Transit Subcommittee chairman, and subcommittee ranking member DeFazio referenced a Sept. 13 subcommittee hearing over concerns regarding CSA data and methodology.

Hearing witnesses said a lack of adequate safety data, inappropriate weighting of violations and other scoring problems was causing CSA “to erroneously label carrier safety performance.”  They noted research indicating program problems in their testimony.

On Oct. 16, the American Trucking Associations issued a white paper on the program.  It indicated carriers’ scores in three of CSA’s seven measurement categories do not effectively identify future crash risk. Also, that the FMCSA only has sufficient violation data to assign a percentile rank in at least one category to 12 percent of carriers.

That same day, the agency’s CSA Subcommittee of Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee began a two-day meeting. The MCSAC established the subcommittee at its August meeting to provide the FMCSA recommendations on the CSA program.