OOIDA – Truck safety ratings system unfair to small businesses

Roadside Inspections
The CSA system has a serious lack of due process or objective oversight, giving roadside law enforcement all of the control over disputes to citations or warnings such as those that might arise from a roadside inspection such as this one.
This is the claim made today by the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) in a just released “presser”.

This is one of the things that Mexico Trucker Online and OOIDA are in agreement on. The press release states in part,

Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) acknowledged the contribution of small businesses to the trucking industry and the importance of identifying and correcting major gaps in the safety rating system.

“These flaws call into question not only the ability of the CSA to achieve its primary goal ? to identify unsafe actors that cause highway accidents ? but also whether, in too many instances, the new system is identifying safe operators as unsafe,” said Graves. “Of particular concern to the committee are the significant adverse consequences that the inaccurate safety scores may have on trucking companies, 97 percent of which are small businesses.”

“Overall, it’s a backwards system that rewards poor safety performance and penalizes those who are the safest,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice-president of OOIDA. “Most of trucking is made up of small businesses so this system, if it continues on this path, will put many of them out of business and make highways less safe.”

Economist Michael Belzer, Ph.D., gave testimony about a particularly dramatic fatal crash involving a motor carrier that the system kept putting back on the road despite numerous safety violations prior to the accident. Using this example, he explained how the mathematics of the CSA system are not having the intended effect of improved highway safety.

“Preventable crashes like this will happen again, regardless of how many times we rework the algorithms of CSA or scrap it and replace the entire program,” said Belzer. “In short, CSA tries to address safety problems we cannot remedy until we begin to address trucking’s systemic problems.”

OOIDA is acknowledging what we’ve been saying since the new scheme was trotted out. But the hypocrisy of OOIDA’s statement is that they are using the system they object to to push their opposition to all Mexican trucks. Under the new CSA Basics, Canadian, Mexican and US carriers are being hit equally and unfairly.

But that is what we’ve come to expect from OOIDA.

You can read the complete press release here.

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