What this year’s MCSAP awards say about national enforcement priorities

| April 27, 2013

The article below is part of an ongoing, in-depth series on the U.S. Department of Transportation's Compliance, Safety, Accountability program that analyzes federal inspection, investigation and crash data and offers original reporting. Overdrive and CCJ editors have built a site dedicated to hosting the stories, interactive maps and downloadable data at CCJdigital.com/csa.

MCSAP award winners' violation priorities profiles suggest the federal government views a high level of on-highway traffic enforcement (versus a large share of vehicle inpsections) as preferable enforcement behavior.

MCSAP award winners’ violation priorities profiles suggest the federal government views a high level of on-highway traffic enforcement (versus a large share of vehicle inspections) as preferable enforcement behavior.

FMCSA administrator Anne Ferro presented the annual Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program Leadership Awards to state commercial-vehicle enforcement agencies at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance meeting and workshop program in Louisville, Ky., this past week. What exactly are they rewarding? I’ve cross-referenced the departments honored with inspection-intensity and violation-priorities results from our March CSA’s Data Trail analysis of departments’ roadside focus. Find the full results below, which to my way of thinking give some credence to the notion that, at least in intention, the federal government views states with more of a focus on driver behavior, i.e. hours and unsafe-driving CSA BASIC violations, as exemplary — contrasted with programs whose primary focus is vehicle maintenance. Note the high hours and unsafe-driving rankings in the overall safety-enforcement and data-quality awards, which also are the only awards to see overlap in winners in Indiana and Iowa’s truck enforcement agencies.

Administrator Ferro said she agreed with ATA rep and Bulldog Hiway Express President Phil Byrd on Tuesday when Byrd made note of a needed shift in importance of traffic enforcement versus nitpicky roadside inspections. Not in total, however — read this story for more about Ferro’s view that both inspections and a visible police presence/traffic enforcement are key to public highway safety. If I’m reading these awards correctly, though, it seems the feds are right there with Byrd in some sense.

Note also the relatively low inspection-intensity rankings of departments in the fatality-rate award category. All of the states there rank in the lower third of all states in inspection intensity — more on that subject in our upcoming May CSA’s Data Trail coverage on issues with crashes and interventions. Stay tuned.

Fiscal-year 2012 Safety Enforcement Award
For the “most productive and effective safety enforcement program” 

New Mexico Department of Public Safety
Overdrive analysis:
Inspection intensity rank: 7
Hours violation priority rank: 6
Maintenance violation priority rank: 44
Unsafe driving violation priority rank: 16

Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa State Patrol
Overdrive analysis:
Inspection intensity rank: 20
Hours violation priority rank: 13
Maintenance violation priority rank: 35
Unsafe driving violation priority rank: 9

Indiana State Police
Overdrive analysis:
Inspection intensity rank: 8
Hours violation priority rank: 17
Maintenance violation priority rank: 47
Unsafe driving violation priority rank: 2

FY 2012 Data Quality Award
For “reporting the most timely, accurate and complete commercial motor vehicle crash and inspection data”

Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security
Overdrive analysis:
Inspection intensity rank: 26
Hours violation priority rank: 30
Maintenance violation priority rank: 46
Unsafe driving violation priority rank: 1

Iowa DOT, state patrol
Overdrive analysis:
Inspection intensity rank: 20
Hours violation priority rank: 13
Maintenance violation priority rank: 35
Unsafe driving violation priority rank: 9

Indiana State Police
Overdrive analysis:
Inspection intensity rank: 8
Hours violation priority rank: 17
Maintenance violation priority rank: 47
Unsafe driving violation priority rank: 2

Virginia Department of State Police
Overdrive analysis:
Inspection intensity rank: 42
Hours violation priority rank: 32
Maintenance violation priority rank: 2
Unsafe driving violation priority rank: 46

Calendar Years 2009-11 CMV Fatality Rate Award
For “the lowest commercial vehicle fatality rate”

Rhode Island State Police
Overdrive analysis:
Inspection intensity rank: 38
Hours violation priority rank: 48
Maintenance violation priority rank: 10
Unsafe driving violation priority rank: 41

Massachusetts State Police
Overdrive analysis:
Inspection intensity rank: 44
Hours violation priority rank: 31
Maintenance violation priority rank: 48
Unsafe driving violation priority rank: 4

Michigan State Police CMV Enforcement Division
Overdrive analysis:
Inspection intensity rank: 37
Hours violation priority rank: 44
Maintenance violation priority rank: 34
Unsafe driving violation priority rank: 7

FY 2012 Comprehensive Investigations Award
For “the most thorough and effective comprehensive investigations program”

Utah DOT
Overdrive analysis:
Inspection intensity rank: 28
Hours violation priority rank: 4
Maintenance violation priority rank: 32
Unsafe driving violation priority rank: 37

Louisiana State Police Transportation and Environmental Safety Section
Overdrive analysis:
Inspection intensity rank: 16
Hours violation priority rank: 43
Maintenance violation priority rank: 23
Unsafe driving violation priority rank: 14

Texas Department of Public Safety
Overdrive analysis:
Inspection intensity rank: 5
Hours violation priority rank: 47
Maintenance violation priority rank: 1
Unsafe driving violation priority rank: 40

  • ectts

    Finally, the DOT realizes that it is overall public safety not a mindless enforcement of “demerits” that will help the public without destroying the trucking industry

    -carhauler
    parts.ectts.com