Plaintiffs’ written arguments filed in CSA suit

| January 03, 2013

The suit brought against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration last summer by the Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation (ASECTT), with four other trade associations and several trucking companies and brokers, saw action in December, as plaintiffs filed written arguments in court. ASECTT Chairman Tom Sanderson, writing in an email to ASECTT members, said FMCSA “will file its brief in opposition on January 8, 2013, and our rebuttal brief is due on January 22.  Oral argument will be scheduled soon thereafter” in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The plaintiff coalition charges that FMCSA shirked several responsibilities to broker, shipper and carrier communities with its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, which it views as constituting a “new legislative rule issued not in accordance with law and without observance of” required procedure for such rules, among other particular charges in the filed petitioners’ brief.

Download a copy of the full brief summarizing all issues here.

At issue is guidance FMCSA published on its website in May 2012 for users of its public Safety Measurement System (SMS) for motor carriers that, ASECTT and others party to the suit contend, encouraged a view of SMS results as constituting reliable indicators of motor carrier safety and sanctioned the use of SMS results for business decisions, such as a broker’s and/or shipper’s selection of a carrier. This was in spite of “numerous logical and statistical flaws [in the SMS] that misrepresent the safety performance of motor carriers,” the brief alleges, as well as a lack of consideration that the system’s methodology “inflicts disproportionate harm on small carriers.”

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  • Andrea Sitler

    Again the government is trying for a “one size fits all” plan. This does not work with HOS and it won’t work with CSA. Groups on both ends of the spectrum are being unjustly targeted. The numbers skew for small companies as well as for team operations. If you are part of the “norm”; you just don’t fit to be quantified by this system.

  • WhiteHorse

    This Polotburo is taking control of truckers lives and we are letting them. the Abusive and corupt system has given power to those that do not need power beyond thier control.
    I have been privy along with others to this new CSA/SMS standard, one inspector put a pice of equipment on my tractor that does not existie.(splitter valve for a rear axle) he did not know that the load leveler was shifting air and could detect no air leak but now I am the proud owner of a rear axle splitter valve. also if you engine has a liottle left over oil from a oil change you now have a massive oil leak. corrupt is the value of the enforcement agents and agencies. maybe not all but the greater portion. hello N.M.

  • J Brown

    Does it ever end? How does a small one-truck owner like me
    stay in the fight? I know God is my main source, but so many times I am just about ready to give up like the devil wants me to. I look back to when I first started driving as a company driver in ’93. The years from ’93 to 2003 seemed to be real good compared to now.
    Even though I’m 46, i feel like I’m 70 plus. The HOS change was hard on me, now this SMS thing has me ducking for cover. No accountability for high fuel prices, no accountability for bad roads that damage our equipment that can lead to an unmerciful DOT officer that seems to just jump at a chance to give you an out of service on your record. Every time I pull out of my darn driveway in my truck, I feel like a fugitive. I’m not normally a whiner, but i felt like I ought to post something on this, I had a heart attack last week, and I think alot of this stuff going on hasn’t helped a bit

  • X Marks The Spot

    What other profession are you branded a criminal when you haven’t even willfully done anything wrong?

  • Mike Jones

    God might be saying “Depart From Evil”….which is trucking personified…..maybe try another of the millions of other Sole Proprietor careers….trucking is a waste of Valuable time for an enterpreneur….it has become SILLY with all the B.S.

  • Mike Jones

    As technology advances…there will be MORE surveilance of truckers and trucks..cameras, break heat detectors…cops with clipboards…Internet bases……what a nightmare…for truckers……the final straw is the Camera in the truck pointed at the Driver! The indudstry has gone beyond rediculous……what a mess…..

  • kiko kika

    i hope FMCA employee works 11hours a day with in 14 hours and make 35,000-40,000 a year strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.