Lawsuit against CSA could see decision within 6 months, attorney says

| November 08, 2013

Well-known transportation attorney Henry Seaton, speaking at the annual conference of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies in Nashville, Tenn., updated attendees on the status of the Alliance for Safe and Efficient Transportation’s lawsuit against

Seaton, in his presentation at the NASTC conference, pulled out his "golden triangle" ballcap and put it on, designating himself a bad actor -- the golden triangle is the symbol the CSA Safety Measurement System utilizes to indicate that a carrier has a percentile ranking above a BASIC's intervention threshold.
Seaton, in his presentation at the NASTC conference, pulled out his “golden triangle” ballcap and put it on, designating himself a bad actor — the golden triangle is the symbol the CSA Safety Measurement System utilizes to indicate that a carrier has a percentile ranking above a BASIC’s intervention threshold.

the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration over its encouragement of shippers and brokers to utilize the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Safety Measurement System to vet carriers.

Seaton expects a decision “in the next six months,” following oral arguments in September. The ASECTT v. FMCSA suit “may be decided on procedural grounds,” Seaton added, “but it has certainly held the agency accountable [for] moving accountability from itself onto the shippers and brokers” for making carrier safety determinations. Seaton said the agency’s strategy amounted to an attempt to “strongarm the public into doing [FMCSA's] job,” and he suggested that the industry was at a watershed moment in holding the agency’s feet to the fire over the program. “People are beginning to … realize that the flaws in CSA are structural,” he said, and in part due to ASECTT lobbying efforts, two Congressional studies of the program are likely to be released before the end of the year. 

Related

FMCSA abandoned its ‘duty to regulate safety’ with CSA, attorney says

A transportation legal expert didn't parse his words when talking the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program when he named nearly a dozen flaws with the program.

 

“We were successful last fall in making an appeal to the House small-business committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure committee,” he said. While “nobody really knows what they’re going to say, we gave them enough ammunition, if they look at it objectively, to see that it doesn’t work.”

Seaton referenced ASECTT analysis that showed that of all carriers with three or more CSA BASIC percentile rankings above the intervention threshold, almost half of those carriers have not actually had an accident of any sort within the last two years. “My fear,” he added, “is that the agency will claim the number of BASICs above intervention threshold as a predictor of crashes” in the Safety Fitness Determination, given well-known analysis of Unsafe Driving, Hours of Service and Vehicle Maintenance BASICs that show a relationship between percentile ranking and crashes, on average.

The problem is, Seaton said, “the system is used to measure individual performance, and therein is a fatal flaw.” While it might be true that, on average, a carrier that has three BASICs above intervention threshold has 3.7 crashes per million miles, there are many, many cases where such a carrier has zero accidents.

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  • Mind Games

    Karma’s a bitch!

  • http://joker-jim.blogspot.com/ Joker Jim

    Watch the recommendation by NTSB for a full audit of FMCSA by DOT. This is much bigger than most of us think.

  • trucktracy

    What a bunch of crap by the NTSB and the ATA. This is just going to make things worse for the trucking industry in the long run. Did anyone notice that in their statement they are pushing for everyone to have eobr devices. That whole story just makes me sick to my stomach.

  • William McKelvie

    NHTSA or whatever the name is has already called for one on the FMCSA. Essentially, all of this is just governmental posturing. Nobody is going to anything to the FMCSA, nobody has done so to date. Foxx is a chicken in Obama’s hen house, he has already proven he sides with the FMCSA on the HOS. So where do you really expect any of this to go? Right down that flip down seat hole.

  • Brandy

    Would anyone really object to OBR’s if the ridiculous HOS were reigned in? One size fits all doesn’t work. And the 14 hour rule always has and continues to be in direct contradiction of all of the “limits”. For example, they don’t want a driver to drive sick or tired, yet the 14 hour rule counts any breaks less than 8 hours against a driver. So in essence, if he doesn’t feel well, he cannot take any medicine that may cause drowsiness because any rest counts against him. Time spent resting no matter how short should never count against a drivers time, period.