TIA Files Comments in Response to FMCSA CSA Corrective Action Plan
Last week, TIA filed comments in response to the August 21, 2018 Federal Register Notice the Agency published seeking comments on the released Corrective Action on improving the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) office. TIA remains steadfast in support of removing the public scores, rankings and data from the public view until they are directly tied to a motor carrier’s safety rating.
The Agency is essentially running a bait and switch with the general public using trucks and buses, 3PLs and shippers’ businesses and livelihoods. On the one hand, it states that the public should only use the safety rating and not draw conclusions from the SMS scores; however, on the other hand, the Agency states that these SMS scores are an essential tool for carrier selection and therefore should be publicly displayed for all persons to view. The bottom line is that this data continues to be manipulated by plaintiffs’ attorneys, ultimately resulting in numerous negligent hiring lawsuits against brokers and shippers. Members of TIA have been involved in lawsuits where settlements have reached as high as $10 million. It is not the responsibility of the general public using trucks and buses, 3PLs and shippers to make the safety fitness determination of motor carriers.
The Agency is looking to implement an Item Response Theory (IRT) model to replace the current SMS data system. TIA stated in its comments:
The essential point for 3PLs is the public availability of the CSA scores. It does not matter if the Agency uses an IRT or the current SMS, the scores should not be made publicly available until they are directly proven to be relevant to the safety rating.
Another point that remains untouched in the corrective action is the impact of the public display of the CSA scores, and the Agency omitted 3PLs in its plan from whom to seek input. TIA further commented:
The question of whether to make the scores publicly available is something the Agency announced they would evaluate and study in their corrective action plan moving forward, based on feedback from “motor carriers, insurance companies, and shippers.” It is extremely unfortunate that one of the largest users of motor carriers, 3PLs, were omitted from the list of sources. The 3PL industry is a $186 billion industry, which has possibly been the most adversely affected by the public availability of the CSA scores, and our voice will not be silent on the matter.
“TIA will remain the 3PL industry's leading voice in addressing the egregious overreach of the FMCSA regarding CSA scores and rankings. TIA fully supports the Agency amending the process of CSA to fairly rank motor carriers; however, until the data is tied directly to the safety rating, it has absolutely no business being made publicly available,” stated TIA Senior Director of Government Affairs Chris Burroughs.
For more information, please contact TIA Advocacy at email@example.com or 703-299-5700.