Canada Leading States in Truck Crash Accountability

OTTAWA — It seems Canada is doing something right when it comes to truck crash accountability because the U.S. is looking at Canada’s truck crash accountability approach for guidance. Reports suggest the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is looking up to its northern neighbor in terms of how to account for crash accountability under the administration’s carrier safety profile program, Compliance-Safety-Accountability (CSA).

“It’s nice to see the US government at least willing to look to Canada for examples of how things might work better, for a change,” said David Bradley, CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).

Under CSA, all accidents – regardless of whether the truck was at fault or not – are listed on a carrier’s CSA profile and count towards the carrier’s overall score.

In Canada, provincial carrier ratings systems list all accidents, but unlike in the U.S., only those that were preventable – in other words where the truck was at-fault – are “pointed” and count towards a carrier’s overall safety rating.

Therefore, industry officials in the U.S., including the American Trucking Associations (ATA) have been urging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to examine the Canadian approach.

According to Bradley, U.S. regulators have adopted Canadian approaches before, though they do not happen very often. Bradley cited the reset provisions in both the Canadian and U.S. Hours-of-Service regulations as a “Made-In-Canada invention”.

“There are good ideas on both sides of the border; and obviously a compatible approach is a good thing. Perhaps initiatives like the Regulatory Cooperation Council, which arose out of the recent perimeter action plan, will morph into a body that over time may help create a more bilateral approach to certain trucking regulations,” Bradley said. “In the meantime, we’ll continue to work with our partners at ATA and provide whatever information we can.”

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