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Sunday, June 23, 2024

FMCSA blows another opportunity


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) earlier last week (March 17) unveiled a smartphone app that displays safety data on carriers, and it’s already being roundly blasted by one of the industry’s leading organizations, which calls the app “irresponsible.”

The app, QCMobile, allows a user to look up a carrier’s percentile rankings in the DOT’s Compliance Safety Accountability program, licensing and insurance information, safety ratings and crashes with a a search of a DOT number or carrier’s name. It mirrors information in the agency’s Safety Measurement System portal. Despite the trucking industry’s concerns over the quality, quantity and consistency of the data used to form the SMS rankings, the agency markets the app as one that could be used by “insurers, brokers, freight-forwarders and others interested in reviewing … registration and safety performance information of motor carriers.”
That’s what has drawn the ire of the American Trucking Associations (ATA), which is urging people to not use QCMobile. On its Facebook page, the ATA said:

“Thinking of using the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new app to examine a ‪‎trucking‬ company’s CSA score?


“Read this statement from ATA spokesman Sean McNally:

‘Today’s announcement by FMCSA is recklessness cloaking itself as transparency. The Compliance, Safety, Accountability system was designed to better target potentially unsafe carriers, but a report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) last year characterized CSA safety scores as often being unreliable and imprecise. Early this month, in testimony before the U.S. Senate, GAO said the system suffers from a number of data quality and sufficiency issues and therefore “does not effectively identify high-risk carriers.

‘We urge the public not to use this app given the serious flaws in CSA that have been identified by GAO and others.’”

ATA has called on the agency to immediately remove this tool from the marketplace.

FMCSA says the app — available on both Android and iOS devices — can be used by inspectors and enforcers and could help expedite inspection decisions, as it requires no log-in, whereas inspectors now must log in to databased to obtain information.