Five Republicans in the U.S. House have introduced a bill that would remove from public view carrier rankings in the DOT’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program until FMCSA implements its long-awaited Safety Fitness Determination rule.
The bill would also require shippers, brokers, freight forwarders and even freight receivers to vet carriers prior to hiring them, which would include checking their registration status with the DOT, ensuring they hold the proper amount of liability insurance and have not been given “unsatisfactory” safety ratings.
H.R. 1220 was introduced Feb. 26 by Reps. John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), and they’ve billed it as one that would “enhance interstate commerce by creating a national hiring standard for motor carriers.”
Part of the enhancements to safety, the lawmakers say, will be removing the “confusing and conflicting vagaries” of CSA’s BASIC rankings from public view — a move pushed in the bill by the broker trade group Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA).
“TIA will continue to advocate that the CSA initiative is a valuable internal tool for the Agency, but until the Safety Fitness Determination rulemaking is complete, the BASIC data should not be used as a tool for carrier selection,” according to the lawmakers’ announcement of the bill.
TIA is not alone in its call. Major trucking groups like the American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have made the same call in recent months.
The public view of CSA scores has been one of the trucking industry’s biggest beefs with CSA.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance — the group representing the enforcement community — has also asked FMCSA to remove the scores from public view until the agency can shore up concerns from industry stakeholders regarding its data quality and its methodology.