For years, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) has resisted the efforts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to advance the initiatives contained within its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) enforcement program. The FMCSA recently announced that a new study confirms that the CSA is more effective than the compliance-related program it replaced back in 2010. However, the ATA is not convinced that this conclusion is anything to brag about.
The FMCSA maintains that the CSA helps to prevent trucking accidents by identifying which commercial trucking operations and commercial bus operations are in need of more targeted safety regulations enforcement. By utilizing enforcement interventions in order to crack down on those carriers who pose the greatest risk to public safety, the FMCSA insists that the CSA is a critically important program.
The ATA begs to differ on this point. Recently, the CEO and president of the ATA observed that, “Just because CSA is an improvement over previous programs does not make it a 'good' program for assessing the safety performance of individual carriers.” To further emphasize his point, he reminded the public that the Government Accountability Office released a study earlier this month that finds certain faults with the CSA.
The FMCSA may benefit from delving deeply into the GAO report in order to correct some of the faults currently plaguing the system. For even though it is viewed as a critical tool by federal regulators, it is unlikely to be vocally supported by the ATA unless several issues are more completely addressed.
Source: Trucking Info, “FMCSA Says Separate Study Confirms CSA Effectiveness, ATA Balks,” Feb. 5, 2014