Federal agencies Safety measurement systems Trucking

State disparities in safety enforcement cloud CMV carriers’ true performance: report

Arlington, VA – Enforcement of commercial motor vehicle safety rules differ by state, concealing the true safety record of carriers, according to a report from the American Transportation Research Institute.

When a carrier’s true safety performance is obscured, the carrier could be labeled as unsafe, or an unsafe carrier could be missed, the July report concluded.

ATRI, which is the research arm of the American Trucking Associations, collected data from seven motor carriers and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety Measurement System to examine different safety priorities in FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

The institute found that SMS scores changed when disparities in state enforcement were eliminated. Scores increased as high as 12.2 points and decreased as low as 17.7 points for the four Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories that ATRI studied.

Data also showed carriers’ violation rates often fluctuate across states.

The report acknowledges that states need flexibility in developing enforcement strategies to meet their specific needs.