CSA Controversy Heats Up

For years, carrier groups have opposed the online publication of CSA scores. Now, freight brokers are also calling for the removal of CSA scores from public view.

At its annual conference in April, the board of directors of the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) voted to change its policy regarding the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) initiative.

“CSA scores continue to be publicly available and, therefore, manipulated and misused in litigation and as tools for carrier selection, despite the explicit FMCSA website warning that CSA was designed and intended exclusively for Agency and law enforcement use, and not for public consumption,” TIA said in a written statement.

According to TIA Chairman Jeff Tucker, TIA members want FMCSA to provide “a highly reliable system to indicate ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on whether or not to use a motor carrier.” He said CSA scores have “proven useless for commercial carrier selection.”

CSA mobile app backlash

Adding fuel to the CSA fire is FMCSA’s recent release of a mobile app that makes it even easier for the public to view CSA scores. FMCSA promotes its QCMobile app, launched March 17, as a valuable tool for law enforcement, insurers, brokers and the general public.

TIA disagrees with that assessment. “The group which benefits the most from having this information at their fingertips, is attorneys who continue to manipulate the CSA scores in lawsuits against brokers,” TIA said in a statement released after the mobile app launched.

TIA President and CEO Robert Voltmann said the app was “the latest example of an agency out of touch with the marketplace they regulate.”

TIA joins other groups that have called for removing scores from public view, including the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OIDA).

FMCSA lauched the CSA initiative in December 2010, replacing the previous SafeStat program.

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Pat Pitz

Pat Pitz is the editor of the DAT Solutions freight broker newsletter. He has nearly 20 years experience as a professional writer and editor. Before joining DAT, he spent 8 years at a Portland advertising and public relations agency, where he wrote newsletters and other content for a variety of high-profile clients, including several in the trucking industry.



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