Beginning on August 1, 2017, a new U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) pilot program will permit drivers to dispute crashes that occurred on or after June 1, 2017, that were ruled preventable, and possibly have those crashes removed or deemed not preventable from their Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores.
The Petroleum Marketers Association (PMAA) has supported all attempts to stop the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from proceeding with the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rulemaking until all reforms related to the Compliance, Safety and Accountability/Safety Measurement System (CSA/SMS) programs mandated by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) are completed.
The FMCSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: “Carrier Safety Fitness Determination” on January 21, 2016. The current safety fitness rating system ranks carriers as Satisfactory, Conditional or Unsatisfactory based on a comprehensive safety compliance review. The rule proposes to radically modify the Safety Fitness rating system in which carriers are evaluated for both the enforcement community and the general public.
The new methodology would be based on on-road safety data using five of the agency’s seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs); an investigation, which would consider all seven BASICs, or a combination of on-road safety data and investigation information. The proposed new system would remove all of the existing ratings and create only one rating, “Unfit.”
PMAA’s primary concern with the proposal is that the new proposed methodology utilizes flawed CSA/SMS data and scores, which pursuant to the FAST Act, Congress has directed the agency to completely overhaul. While we support the goal of an easily understandable, rational safety fitness determination system, this proposal is built on a flawed foundation. FMCSA must complete reforms to the CSA/SMS system before proceeding to a new method of evaluating safety fitness of carriers.
The Crash Preventability Demonstration Program will accept requests for data reviews (RDRs) to the FMCSA to evaluate the preventability of certain crashes. RDRs can be made through the existing DataQs data correction system.