A bill proposed by House Republican Lou Barletta concerning the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program would prevent the public from viewing motor carrier rankings and data.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiated the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program to improve the safety of large commercial trucksand buses in hopes of reducing crashes involving those vehicles. The CSA essentially established an entirely new procedure for enforcement and compliance. Now, the House is proposing a bill called the "Safer Trucks and Buses Act of 2015" ( HR 1371) that could prevent the public from accessing data about safety rankings.
The way the system currently works, the CSA puts the trucking industry under a microscope for all to see, an undesirable characteristic for trucking companies that are trying to conceal their flaws. Because data involving safety violations is made publicly available, third parties are more reluctant to utilize their services. For example, retailers would likely pass up a trucking company that is rife with violations.
Just last week, the FMCA released a mobile application that makes it even easier for the public to gain access to view CSA ratings. The FMCSA primarily marketed the application to insurance companies, brokers, and freight-forwarders.
Here are a few ways Barletta's bill could change the CSA -
- Remove data that is determined to be irrelevant to predicting motor carrier crashes.
- Because smaller motor carriers have limited safety data which could create a bias against them, the bill aims to eliminate access to this information altogether.
- Better distinguish between bus companies and commercial trucking companies.
Many trucking and bus companies believe CSA information is flawed at best, but others believe it provides helpful transparency to an industry that is arguably in need of reform. Data on large trucks compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that fatalities caused by accidents involving large trucks rose four percent from 2011 to 2012. An estimated 333,000 large trucks are involved in accidents throughout the U.S. annually.
Wyatt Law Firm, Ltd. is passionate about holding large corporations such as trucking companies accountable for the damage they cause. Their negligence often causes serious trucking accidents leaving victims catastrophically injured or killed. If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with a big rig or other large truck, we invite you to contact us today to learn about your legal rights and options.