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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,” TIA said in a written statement, “despite the explicit FMCSA website warning that CSA was designed and intended exclusively for Agency and law enforcement use, and not for public consumption.”
According to TIA Chairman Jeff Tucker, TIA members want FMCSA to provide a 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
FMCSA's new mobile app allows the public to view CSA scores on their smart phones.
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 in March, 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.
For information on another piece of legislation of interest to freight brokers, see last month's blog post: National Carrier Hiring Standard Could be in Highway Funding Bill.
What do you think about CSA scores being public? As a broker, are CSA scores helpful to you in selecting carriers, or do they only invite lawsuits?