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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

ATA calls on FMCSA to Restore ‘Common Sense’ to CSA Crash Accountability

The American Trucking Associations has expressed serious concern over the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s recent decision to scrap a plan that would assess non-preventable crashes differently than other collisions as part of CSA.

“With FMCSA moving ahead with its CSA carrier oversight system, it is more important than ever that the agency uses not only the best data, but also common sense to ensure it is targeting the right carriers and drivers for oversight,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “By backtracking on their commitment to implement a crash accountability determination process in early 2012 to hold carriers accountable for crashes clearly caused by the actions or inactions of a truck driver, FMCSA has bowed to anti-industry interest groups and unfairly called into question the integrity of police accident reports prepared by America’s law enforcement community.”

Originally, FMCSA had agreed to develop a process where police accident reports would be reviewed to determine crash accountability and remove non-preventable crashes from a carrier’s CSA profile.

ATA says pressure from some “special interest groups” caused FMCSA to shelve these plans, which would hold carriers responsible in their CSA program for every truck-involved crash, including those which the truck driver could not have prevented.

In most cases involving a car-truck accidents, the driver of the smaller non-commercial vehicle is deemed to be at fault.

ATA has launched a campaign challenging FMCSA’s “blame truck drivers first” policy.

The campaign highlights several real-life cases where carriers have had their CSA scores elevated after their trucks were hit by non-commercial vehicles which were completely at-fault.

“We all know that not every crash involving one of our trucks can be prevented by the truck driver, so we’ve been making the common sense, reasonable request for several years that FMCSA hold us accountable for what we can prevent and not hold us accountable in the CSA program for crashes we simply cannot prevent,” said ATA Chairman Dan England, chairman of C.R. England, in a press release. “Unfortunately, it seems that FMCSA wants to side with special interests rather than with law enforcement and thousands of safety conscious carriers in this country.”