Debate over the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s idea of using the DataQ system to record who is at fault during an accident has stirred a differential of opinions at a recent forum held by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
In a question and answer session, the FMCSA announced the possibility of using the current DataQ system, “which carriers use now to correct mistakes that have gotten into their CSA scores” to record police reports stating who is at fault in an accident (http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=73760).
According to an article in truckinginfo.com, the FMCSA is looking into recording all accidents (“unless a carrier files an accident report through DataQs”) and eventually hire a contractor who will then determine if the carrier is at fault prior to it being entered.
The FMCSA’s consideration has formed a mixture of opinions.
On one side is support of the idea with the belief that it will promote safety and CSA performance by stating if the carrier was responsible for an accident instead of just that a crash had occurred, as well as details about whether the accident could have been prevented, one reason why the American Trucking Association (ATA) favors the idea of hiring a contractor.
On the other side, the ATA, and others, have concerns.
ATA Vice President of Safety Policy Rob Abbott notes, “The approach would put the onus on the carrier to initiate the process and under the CSA system, which measures one carrier’s performance against its peers, it’s important that the database include all crashes and not just those that carriers elect to challenge,” (http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=73760).
Another opinion, given by a member of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, warns that even if the organization hired a contractor to review police reports, the level of knowledge each police officer has in investigating trucking accidents varies, the site explains.
The NTSB, however, is experienced in investigating these types of crashes and aim to discover preventative means.
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Tags: accident, accountability, American Trucking Association, ATA, carrier, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, crash, CSA scores, DataQ, DOT Motor Carrier Safety Certificate, federal motor carrier safety administration, FMCSA, National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, road scholar transport, Rob Abbott, trucking company