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Bus/limo/taxi | Trucking | Inspections | Safety measurement systems | Transportation

Federal truck and bus carrier safety ratings ineffective, audit finds

February 11, 2014

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Washington – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration should revise its process for predicting which commercial truck and bus carriers have the highest risk of crashes, the Government Accountability Office has recommended after completing an audit of the FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

CSA uses data from roadside inspections and crash investigations to compare the safety performance of truck and bus carriers of similar sizes and other demographics. FMCSA then applies additional scrutiny to the carriers with the most safety violations as compared with their peers as part of CSA’s Safety Measurement System.

GAO conducted an audit of this process and determined that FMCSA assigns scores to carriers without having adequate or equal amounts of safety data to make fair comparisons. FMCSA should be more selective in which carriers it assigns scores based on which carriers have the most relevant safety records that are strongly associated with crash risk, according to GAO, which stated that although this will result in fewer carriers having safety ratings, the scores likely will be more reliable and allow FMCSA to better allocate its limited resources.

The Department of Transportation agreed to consider GAO’s recommendations.