ATA’s Graves to FMCSA: Acknowledge CSA limitations or program won’t reach goals

The top official of the American Trucking Associations says that unless the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration acknowledges certain limitations of its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, CSA will fall short of reaching its full potential.

ATA President and CEO Bill Graves made his statement in conjunction with the release of white paper Wednesday that urged the FMCSA to remain committed to the goal of CSA: to reduce commercial motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities.

“From the outset, ATA has supported the objectives of CSA to provide a means for FMCSA to more efficiently and effectively reduce truck crashes,” Graves said. “However, unless FMCSA acknowledges certain limitations of the program and makes corresponding improvements, CSA will fall short of reaching its full potential.”

A spokesperson for the FMCSA did not immediately respond to the release of the white paper nor Graves’ comment.

The release of the white paper is one of only several challenges thrown by ATA at FMCSA in recent weeks.

On June 4, the ATA called on FMCSA Administration Anne Ferro to release the results of FMCSA’s study on the use of police reports to determine crash accountability.

Some 10 days later, the FMCSA announced plans to release the study soon.

At a leadership meeting in Tampa last month, the ATA’s board of directors called on the agency to make changes to CSA.

“From the outset, ATA has supported FMCSA’s efforts to improve its enforcement capabilities through CSA,” Graves said at Tampa. “Through CSA’s development and implementation the agency had been responsive to suggestions and made an effort to improve the program as needed. However, recently our members have become concerned that the agency has become increasingly unresponsive, even in the face of data and logic.”

ATA’s Board and members said the unreliability of CSA scores, the loose or, at times, inverse connection to crash risk, as well as FMCSA’s unwillingness to frankly discuss the program’s weaknesses is very troubling and needs to be addressed.