FMCSA moves on SafeStat changes

WASHINGTON, (June 1, 2004) — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says it’s planning to restrict access to some data in its SafeStat system in response to a DOT Inspector General report in February that found “material weaknesses in the SafeStat data.”

SafeStat is an automated, data driven analysis system designed by the FMCSA. It collects data from carriers with an active U.S. DOT number, and combines current and historical carrier-based safety performance information to measure the relative (peer-to-peer) safety fitness of interstate commercial motor carriers and intrastate commercial motor carriers that transport hazardous materials.

This information includes federal and state data on collisions, roadside inspections, on-site compliance review results, and enforcement history.

Writing in the American Trucking Associations’ industry publication Transport Topics, FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg indicated the agency would also make changes in the way it collects and analyzes safety data. She said that later this year, the FMCSA will temporarily remove the accident Safety Evaluation Area (SEA) and the overall SafeStat scores from the Web site. She added that the delayed receipt of crash report data can skew the overall carrier scoring.

The FMCSA felt it necessary to remove the score data from the site, since third parties such as shippers, insurance underwriters, and investors use the information to determine a carrier’s reliability and assess its risk level.

The agency also has instituted a new system called DataQs, which gives carriers a mechanism for filing their concerns about their data. Much of the data that goes into a carrier’s ranking comes from states, and carriers have found that if that data is incorrect they often have a hard time getting it fixed — DataQs is supposed to correct that.

The IG’s audit earlier this year was conducted after the American Trucking Associations expressed concerns over whether the SafeStat data system is actually effective in targeting high-risk carriers for safety reviews. The IG found that while SafeStat generally calculated scores consistently with its design, there are “material weaknesses in the SafeStat data” reported by jurisdictions and motor carriers and with the “FMCSA processes for correcting and disclosing data problems.”

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.