Should enforcers focus more on traffic violations? FMCSA rep, CSA critic spar over program

Updated Nov 14, 2013

inspection csaOutspoken CSA critic and data showman Steve Bryan — head of Vigillo, a data company that helps fleets adjust their CSA scores —  squared off on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., last month, per his usual routine.

Bryan tossed out data backing up the oft-derided state-to-state disparity in enforcement and reporting, along with overwhelming tilt of violations that come in the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC, which makes up 80 percent of all violations written.

He then made his way to this point: Why does maintenance receive so much focus? Isn’t it common sense that traffic enforcement — like speeding violations — would more obviously target crash risk?

Overdrive Senior Editor Kevin Jones has a full write-up on the panel discussion on OD sister site CCJ, where Jones writes about the sparring match that took place between Bryan and FMCSA’s Bill Quade,  the agency’s associate administrator for enforcement.

Quade countered Bryan’s pointed attack on CSA’s data problem by saying “Data can be dangerous.”

Quade also said that there are about 10,000 enforcers who know how to inspect a truck in the U.S., while there are about 500,000 cops and enforcers who pull vehicles over for speeding tickets — his point being that truck inspectors should be inspecting trucks, not concentrating on traffic violations.  

He also said Bryan misuses CSA’s data. 

Bryan, however, countered Quade’s points by saying his group isn’t in the business of gathering data, and that he’s simply dissecting the data FMCSA itself gathers. “I work for the industry and if I see something truckers need to know, I’m likely to say it,” Bryan said. 

Click here to see Jones’ full story. 

Overdrive ran a months-long in-depth series on CSA’s data and its various problems and disparities — Click here to visit the site dedicated to those stories, which also had downloads to show what violations occur most in what states.