Tom Sanderson, chief executive officer of logistics provider Transplace, has been named chairman of the Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation.
The nonprofit corporation, composed of carriers, shippers, brokers and other interested parties, formed out of concern about the direction of new federal safety regulations for the trucking industry.
ASECTT argues that the Safety Measurement System behind the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's new Compliance, Safety and Accountability initiative uses unproven methodology, which could unfairly rate carriers as unsafe or result in their closure without adequate safeguards for due process.
CSA is an effort to give federal inspectors and state police access to more accurate, up-to-date information about the safety behavior of trucking companies and drivers so they can intervene more quickly to correct problems. It went into full effect in December. Carriers are given a performance score and ranked against their peers based on several safety categories such as vehicle maintenance, drug and alcohol violations, and unsafe driving.
The automated Safety Measurement System quantifies motor carrier on road safety performance so FMCSA can prioritize its enforcement resources on companies that exceed certain thresholds.
The FMCSA said the SMS system does not imply any federal safety rating and that the public 'should not draw conclusions about a carrier's overall safety condition simply based on the data displayed in this system. Unless a motor carrier has received an unsatisfactory safety rating pursuant to (federal regulations), or has otherwise been ordered to discontinue operations by the FMCSA, it is authorized to operate on the nation's roadways.'
The agency recommends that carriers periodically review the SMS and electronically request corrections to inaccurate data.
ASECTT has filed comments with the Department of Transportation's Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee stating that the SMS system is flawed and that correlations between compliance and safety have yet to be established, especially since a pending study on the matter has yet to be released.
The coalition argues that the CSA initiative still does not comprehensively rate all carriers because available information about each company varies. It also objects to FMCSA efforts to include shippers and truck brokers as regulated parties under its authority.
'The role of the regulator is to certify the regulated party as safe for use by the consumer. Shippers and brokers, like the traveling public, are protected parties who should be beneficiaries of the regulators' expert decision in establishing carriers who are fit for use,' Sanderson said in a statement.
More information about ASECTT can be found here