As reported by Automotive Fleet magazine (see link — FMCSA Seeks 183% Budget Hike to Increase CSA Enforcement – Market Trends – Automotive Fleet.) “the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) can only audit about 2 percent of the nation’s truck fleets due to its finite resources”.
The article asserts that these few audits are focused on “high-risk fleets“, but many would counter that the program designed to spotlight those operators (CSA) is flawed and has never been fully validated (the use of all crash data, not only “at-fault” data to establish scores as one example).
To now propose a radical increase in budget to spike enforcements (and levy fines) using this unproven and critically attacked system is either genius or heinous.
On one hand, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) attempt to define the bare minimum safety standards that should universally apply to medium and heavy duty vehicles engaged in interstate commerce. There are flagrant violators and there are also “gold medal” companies who go far above and far beyond these minimums.
Unfortunately, the stellar performers get underbid on cargo shipments by the flagrant violators. This vicious circle works against the promotion of safe driving at reasonable speeds — the motor carrier with the fastest transit times and most blatant disregard for “hours of service” rules (and lower than realistic bids) often edge out the carriers who do it right and bid it appropriately.
Regardless of all the bystander’s rantings about CSA, one thing is clear — FMCSA is signalling it’s intent to ramp up enforcement.
Curbing unsafe driving, inspecting and repairing equipment, documenting driver qualifications and handling all recordkeeping consistently are more important than ever before. And that’s not a bad thing, is it?