STC closely tracks federal actions on many trucking-related regulatory and safety topics. Here are a few questions on current topics that make us go hmmmm…
- Why hasn’t the U.S. Department of Transportation issued any 2018 CMV crash data with corresponding commentary about the impact of ELDs? With the amount of time, effort and resources invested by government and industry, the government’s silence on the ELD mandate’s impact on crashes is beginning to make us wonder why. The ELD mandate has improved compliance as shown by a regularly updated FMCSA infographic. The more important goal of the ELD mandate is to improve highway safety, measured by reduced crashes. Even if preliminary, and even if for the first 6 months of 2018, some crash data, analysis and commentary seems better than none to us.
- Why has the information pipeline on CSA and Item Response Theory seemingly dried up? FMCSA last held a public listening session on CSA one year ago, in September 2018. The Agency openly shared information, perspective and timelines at that well-attended public session. FMCSA also openly received input and commentary from the industry. It was a good, productive session. But, with little information since then, next steps on CSA and IRT seem fuzzy. Time for another public listening session?
- Why has it been 15 years since the last large truck crash causation study was completed (using data collected from 2001 to 2003)? Recently, leaders from FMCSA and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance called on Congress to authorize and fund a large-scale CMV crash causation study. We agree, and it made us wonder why FMCSA does not have the necessary statutory authority and research budget flexibility to conduct large scale crash causation studies on regular intervals (e.g., every 5 or every 10 years). New highway safety challenges can surface quickly (e.g., the proliferation of smart phone use and the impact on distracted driving in the last 5-10 years). USDOT agencies with safety missions should seemingly have the authority to conduct mission-critical research when needed.