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Federal Government May Alter Safety Measurements of Trucking Companies

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is considering changing the way it measures crash accountability in its carrier safety profile program, Compliance-Safety-Accountability (CSA). The American Trucking Association (ATA) has long been pressuring the FMCSA to change its methods of measurement. Under the FMSCA's current policy, all trucking accidents, regardless of who is at fault, have been negatively impacting CSA scores.

The issues the FMCSA are considering are two-fold. First, the ATA would like the FMCSA to release a study it conducted several years ago on the practicability of using police reports to assess crash accountability, specifically whether the police reports are uniform and consistent enough to have reliable value.

The FMCSA has stated that it will not release the study because the findings were not conclusive and because of concerns from safety advocacy groups. The ATA responded that the FMCSA should release the study regardless in the interests of transparency, and that it should set up a deadline for moving forward with the issue.

In what could be good news for the ATA, it's been reported that the FMCSA may be looking to Canadian policy in reworking its crash accountability standards. In Canada, although all accidents that carriers are involved in are listed by the national agency, only those in which the driver is at fault impact the carrier's overall safety score. The ATA has been urging the FMCSA to consider the Canadian approach, and, perhaps, now will gain some traction in this area of contention.

It's unclear how a change in the CSA standards might impact safety overall, as well as individual drivers involved in an accident with a truck. However, if you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a trucking accident, contacting a knowledgeable attorney to discuss your situation is strongly advised.

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