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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Continues to Experience Industry Resistance Safety Scoring

William J. Ervin, Jr. (Joe)
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Professional Trial Attorney Representing the Victims of Car, Truck, and Bus Accidents in the State of Oklahoma
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has developed a scoring system referred to as the Compliance, Safety, Accountability or “CSA” scores which was designed to assist in evaluating safety performances based on documented violations resulting from records of roadside inspections and crash statistics.

However, the use of CSA scores for safety monitoring has met much opposition. Many opponents contend that the score does not precisely convey safety due to primarily focusing on violations with little attention to the number of positive roadside inspections conducted. As a result of this opposition, CSA scores are no longer available for public viewing due to a provision which enforced the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to eliminate the scores from the public. The administration has 18 months to submit documentation to Congress for a review of a study to determine the accuracy of the agency’s ability to forecast potential driving accident risks and severity.

We agree with the opposing arguments regarding CSA scores not precisely conveying the safety of the driver. In addition, we agree that the scores should be removed from public viewing until an examination of the scoring system and its statistical accuracy at predicting driving accident risks and severity has been confirmed. Maintaining inaccurate CSA scores publicly could potentially lead to an unwarranted increase in law enforcement involvement regarding safety actions and undue stress to the driver. We believe once the administration’s study has been concluded and Congress has conducted an evaluation and approved the evaluating system at question, only then should the CSA scores become available for public viewing once again
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