New rules for those making new rules

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So, I’ve been doing some reading lately, mostly trying to wade through the FMCSA’s 45 pages of gobbelty gook about crash weighting in the CSA Safety Measurement System. Let me give you a fairly succinct overview with three words:

“What. The. Hell.”

I’m not sure where these people learned math, but it wasn’t the same place I learned. Also, if the word “data” is used once, it’s used 77,000 times and I motion that, hereafter, the gubmint is not allowed to use the word more than once in a report, unless of course, they’re referring to the Star Trek character, and then it’s OK to use it a couple more times.

The only Data I trustThe only Data I trust

But seriously guys, data is the vaguest of vague – it’s just a word that means “we got numbers, yo” and has absolutely no specific connotation whatsoever. Stop using it as bible truth, we’re not that dumb and we’re not going for it anymore.

I have a friend who is an actuary. By definition, he is a person who “compiles and analyzes statistics and uses them to calculate insurance risks and premiums.” I asked him to look at the numbers and try to explain to me why they weren’t adding up. That was a month and a half ago, when I first got a look at the report. I still haven’t gotten an explanation, and I probably won’t, because aliens wear purple hats and the gubmint can submit any form of nonsense they care to as “data.”

Crash statistics are necessary and important to keep and analyze, as long as the correct and complete information is reflected in them. They are valuable for everyone involved – theoretically, drivers can compare the safety issues of companies they’re looking to sign on with, and the company can look at them the same way. If the crash statistics reflected the at-fault party in the crash and were otherwise pertinent, correct information that wasn’t skewed by ridiculous “data,” we might have a beautiful thing to behold.

As it is now, the information available via the CSA SMS is complete crap – and it’s hurting everyone. It isn’t a surprise that a great idea has been turned into a perverted sack of poo in Washington, but the fact remains that the idiots in charge broke it and they’re the only ones who can fix it. And it’s time to fix it.

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