For those of us who have grown accustomed to delays in promised government action, welcome to a new world.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is delivering in a timely manner on the next steps it said were coming in overhauling its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program.

In mid-August, FMCSA announced three important steps forward:

  • FMCSA has sent to Congress its action plan in response to the CSA critique by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Labeled a “Correlation Study Corrective Action Plan, the response, first posted in July, now puts FMCSA officially on record with Congress who mandated the NAS study in the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). For more on the CSA overhaul, why it happened, what it means, and what you can do, see the PrePass white paper “CSA Overhaul Under Way.”
  • FMCSA held the first public hearing on its response to the NAS study in late August. The agency plans to hold more hearings in the future but dates for them have yet to be announced. In the meantime, the PrePass white paper offers more details on the FMCSA plan and what the agency needs to learn from fleets and drivers.
  • A major recommendation by the NAS study was that FMCSA utilize Item Response Theory (IRT) to deal with the variables in safety scoring. FMCSA has confirmed the timeline set out in its Correlation Study Corrective Action Plan. There will be a small scale test of IRT conducted this September, with a full-scale test in April 2019. As discussed in the PrePass white paper, IRT is data-intensive and FMCSA will want to hear from fleets and drivers how difficult or costly it may be to provide the proposed enhanced data required, and whether some data should be withheld as proprietary.

Stay tuned to the PrePass blog for more on these important developments.