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Proposal would make changes to trucking safety program

Truck safety, as we frequently point out on this blog, is an important issue in highway safety. Federal and state regulations are continually working to address the issue and improve regulations and oversight so as to decrease the frequency of truck accidents and increase accountability for trucking companies who don’t follow safety rules.

One of the proposals introduced in the current congressional session is the Safer Trucks and Buses Act of 2015, which seeks to modify the implementation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety and Accountability program. That program, as readers may be aware, implemented safety reporting and enforcement measures that were somewhat controversial in trucking industry.

One aspect of the Compliance, Safety and Accountability program is to rate trucking companies on their likelihood of causing an accident. A trucking company’s rating is based on the number of crashes they have caused, the severity of the crashes and the recency of those crashes. Trucking companies are given a percentile rating comparing them to other companies. Those with a score of 0 have the best rating, while those with a score of 100 have the worst rating.

The percentile ratings are posted online every month for the public to access. The idea behind this is to hold trucking companies and other motor carriers accountable to the public for the accidents they cause. It is hoped that this will help improve trucking safety.  Unsurprisingly, the trucking industry has largely been critical of the program, particularly the public display of safety ratings.

In our next post, we’ll talk about the recent congressional proposal to make some changes to the program and how those changes could impact trucking safety. 

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