CSA puts more than half of all mega carriers on ‘Alert’

By Jami Jones, senior editor | Thursday, January 20, 2011

Overall the percentage of motor carriers targeted for some sort of enforcement action by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration did not increase dramatically with the introduction of the new CSA program – except in the mega motor carrier segment.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration compared the results of SafeStat – the agency’s previous enforcement system – to the newly implemented Comprehensive Safety Accountability program.

The comparison was part of a declaration that William Quade, FMCSA associate administrator for Enforcement and Program Delivery, submitted to the court in response to a lawsuit filed by the National Association of Small Trucking Companies challenging CSA.

In Quade’s declaration, FMCSA noted that overall under the old SafeStat program, 49,929 total motor carriers would have been identified as deficient in a Safety Evaluation Area.

During the CSA operational test model, that overall number increased to 51,238 motor carriers with one or more BASIC in Alert status – which can result in an intervention from the agency ranging from warning letters to comprehensive compliance reviews.

That means under SafeStat 10.1 percent of all motor carriers faced some sort of enforcement as compared with 10.3 percent under CSA’s methodology.

FMCSA Spokesman Duane DeBruyne confirmed that currently under CSA, approximately 10 percent of all motor carriers have an Alert status in one or more BASICS.

While the overall change is minimal, and Quade stated in his declaration that “there was no disproportionate impact on any particular sized carrier group,” the number of mega motor carriers identified more than doubled once the operational model numbers were tallied.

Under SafeStat, there were only 139 motor carriers with 500 or more power units identified as deficient. That increased to 323 of the largest motor carriers with an Alert status in at least one BASIC under CSA’s methodology. That’s an increase from 22.1 percent to 51.4 percent now facing possible safety interventions from the agency.

Conversely, the two categories representing the smallest motor carriers told a very different tale.

While motor carriers with five or fewer power units, under SafeStat 7.1 percent were ranked as deficient. That increased only three-tenths of a percent to 7.4 percent with an Alert status under CSA.

Motor carriers with 15 or fewer trucks actually saw a decline in the percentage of identified carriers. Under SafeStat 22.2 percent were identified deficient in an SEA. With CSA, the percentage of carriers in Alert status dropped to 20.7 percent.

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