Safety Measurement System in the Trucking Industry Falls Victim to Lobbyists
In recent months, the trucking industry has been backtracking on a raft of measures intended to bring more safety to big rigs. The Safety Measurement System is another system under threat.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched the new trucking safety initiative called the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program about five years ago
Central to the system was a Safety Measurement System (SMS) intended to look at violations from inspections and crash data. The idea was to identify carriers showing a consistent pattern of unsafe practices to correct safety violations before they led to catastrophic injuries or deaths.
The Safety Measurement System detailed seven safety improvement categories called BASICs. They are
- Fatigued driving
- Substance and alcohol abuse
- Vehicle Maintenance
- Cargo and crash indicators
- Unsafe driving
- Truck maintenance
- Driver fitness
However, from Aug 1, under a new U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) pilot program drivers will be able to dispute crashes that occurred on or after June 1, 2017, that were ruled preventable.
In some cases, the drivers will be able to have these crashes removed or deemed not preventable from their Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores.
The Petroleum Marketers Association (PMAA) campaigned to stop the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from proceeding with making rules until changes to the CSA program were made.
The PMAA claimed the seven BASICs categories were based on flawed data.
Congress has directed the federal agency to completely overhaul the Safety Measurement System.
The change raises concerns that an initiative to make trucks safer and cut down on the carnage of our roads may be stalled.
The backtracking on the safety rules comes at a time when commercial truck accidents are on the rise. An article on CNBC noted more deadly trucking wrecks in recent years.
Fatal truck accidents are occurring about 11 times every day in the United States, claiming the lives of nearly 4,000 people each year, according to figures from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The number of fatal crashes caused by big trucks rose 18 percent from 2009 to 2012.
While the improving economy has put more trucks on the roads, there has also been a concerted effort by the trucking industry to relax safety rules.
Find out more about trucking crashes here. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a tractor-trailer crash, call our Georgia trucking accident injury lawyer at (404) 913-1529.