FMCSA’s safety scoring system’s flaws again exposed by key Senator, GAO report

March 11, 2015

The American Trucking Associations called on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to make important changes to its Compliance, Safety, Accountability system following criticisms from a key Senator and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

In a hearing before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security, the GAO chided FMCSA for ignoring its criticisms about the quality and quantity of data used to generate CSA scores, and recommended “FMCSA revise the SMS methodology to better account for limitations in available information when drawing comparisons of safety performance across carriers.”

During the hearing, FMCSA also was criticized by chairman Deb Fischer (R-NE) for disregarding “the views of Congress, stakeholders and several independent agencies with its current agenda-driven approach to regulating our nation’s truckers.”

GAO’s testimony dramatically makes the point that “FMCSA’s method does not effectively identify high risk carriers,” yet the watchdog noted that FMCSA “has not taken action to address our recommendations to better account for the limitations in the CSA program.”

ATA President & CEO Bill Graves said: “The flaws in CSA were again highlighted and again the agency insisted it will do nothing to correct them. FMCSA should not just hear the concerns expressed by Senator Fischer and the GAO, but address them with real action.”

ATA has previously called on FMCSA to change how it uses crash history in CSA (, as well as to remove CSA scores from public view until the system is improved.