Hours rule, CSA draw sharp criticism in House hearing, FMCSA head Ferro defends both

| March 17, 2014
Ferro testifying before a House transportation subcommittee last week.
Ferro testifying before a House transportation subcommittee last week.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration head Anne Ferro defended in front of Congress last week her agency and two of its most criticized regulatory actions in recent years — the hours-of-service rule changes made in July of last year and the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. 

Testifying to the House’s Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, Ferro answered questions from representatives on the negative consequences the industry says it faces due to the hours restrictions and the recent government reports that say CSA is unfair for smaller carriers and is plagued by data quality problems. 

Rep. Richard Hanna said the agency is “hurting the people you are paid to help,” pointing to higher insurance costs, lawsuits and loss of business caused by “erroneous” scores in CSA formulated using what’s perceived as bad data. 

Related

CSA scoring is faulty, unfair for small carriers, GAO report says

The scoring system used by FMCSA in its Compliance, Safety, Accountability system is flawed and is made up of an incomplete data set, particularly for small carriers, a GAO report concludes.

“These are real-world, tortuous problems that you’re putting these truckers through, and frankly the organization acts like they’ve got all the time in the world to correct these problems,” Hanna said. “I think you need to back up, ma’am, and take a look at some of this stuff. Are we so thick we can’t hear the very people whose lives we’re impacting? Is there nobody you believe except some academic who does a study?”

Ferro, however, said her job is to not help the industry but rather to “improve the safety” of it. “That’s what the agency was created to do, and as its lead I’m very proud to be a part of that.”

FMCSA knows the financial impact of the hours-of-service changes, Ferro said, but the rule’s “safety and health” benefits outweigh its costs, she said. 

Rep. Markwayne Mullen said the agency’s rule is “hypocritical,” as Ferro’s work hours are not regulated. 

Related

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FMCSA's data collection process for its CSA program has shortcomings the agency needs to address, according to an audit, or the agency won't be able to "effectively implement" the program or address some of the major concerns of the trucking industry.

“Drivers know when they’re tired and when they’re not – they’re professionals,” Mullen said. “Ma’am, no one regulates how many hours you can work. This is a one-size-fits all approach, and you don’t want to hear about it.”

Rep. Lou Barletta said CSA scores shouldn’t be public “until CSA is fixed.”

Ferro said the agency is working to improve the program, but also defended it against the recent GAO report, saying it’s the agency’s job to “anticipate” safety problems rather than waiting until after crashes have occurred. 

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  • localnet

    Destroy the nations most vital industry to make it safe? I live in f’n la la land.

  • Joe Ammons

    I want to file a law suit for violation of the fair credit reporting act, if they can pass this information to prospective employer thru their screening program, it is falls under the same protection as my credit report.

  • William McKelvie

    More horseshit from the biggest horse’s azz on the hill in regards to trucking.

  • William McKelvie

    XATA just recently gave HOS data to a NEWS team out in California. How do you like those apples?

  • Mike Smith

    This constant barrage of H S, intrusive, anti- American attacks in the name of safety; womenized safety notions, has to be stopped in some way shape or form.

    Women did not build this country from sea to shining sea. Men did.

    If we would have left it to women we would still be hunters and the women would be gatherers. No, we would all be gatherers.

  • Barney

    What the hell does Ann Feraro know about trucking any way. She is just a puppet for big business and the other idiot in the white house.

  • jojo

    There is a Price to pay for safety. If they want to pay the price, they don’t care about the price, it’s coming out of our pockets!

  • Scott Brantley

    Does it surprise anyone that an Obama appointee is hostile to business? I would be surprised if she wasn’t!

    They want to destroy the United States, and they’re doing that by destroying our economic and financial base.

  • Thomas Perkins

    @Scott lay off the dope! This bashing the President is will not solve the problem of an out of control FMCSA. The are just a bunch of wack jobs that fear they will lose their own jobs so they need to invent something out of thin air to justify their existence on the government dole.
    Which by the way is a problem across the board from the Senate on down to the Congress which if you had any eyeballs in your head would know.
    People like yourself give away are sick and spread the sickness of propaganda and blind others with half truths and lies.
    Rightwing and Leftwing propaganda should be treated like a disease and inoculated out of this industry because the fact is that both sides signed off on this law and many others simply because we got the best government that lobbyist can buy.
    Trust and believe this! Somebody will stand to gain from these changes, lawmakers and or their local districts from fines and the company owners who are selling GPS systems to LARGE trucking companies and the owners who paid off your and my lawmakers so they could force owner ops under and gain control over this industry.
    The list goes on and you as well others that spread these lies about ONE MAN should know these facts
    This country is going down the road of fascism as well as globalization and to tell ya the ugly truth its only a matter of time till we are obsolete.
    Some company not too long ago tested a truck that did not need a driver… Think about that…

  • centerlaneshow

    We all herd this before the Transportation Committee show a little bark but never bites. If they really wants to fix the issues at hand Ann Feraro would have been replaced already.

  • lastgoodusername

    maybe if you invite her to a few more truck shows and take her for another truck ride. one stupid bi$%h.

  • Leather & Lace

    No one has even said anything about STRIKING i thank it need to be talked about if we don’t stand up and fight back they are going to keep pushing and pushing I thank it time to push back and tell them we can’t stand for anymore of their pencil pushing