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The Department of Transportation has an online tool that allows the public to see motor carrier (read: commercial trucking company) safety and performance data.  It’s called the Safety Measurement System and it is compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  The SMS is self-described as the “one-stop-shop for public motor carrier data” and SMS uses the information to identify trucking companies that pose the greatest risk to safety.

And the trucking companies don’t like it.  The trucking companies want SMS taken down.

Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, has not yet responded to the trucking companies’ request, but an FMCSA spokesperson said:

The Safety Measurement System has been a game changer in improving safety by making company violations and safety records publicly available to consumers, law enforcement and other businesses.  The GAO’s one-size-fits-all approach to analyzing inspection data would require the agency to triple the number of inspectors we finance each year to exceed more than 10 million nationwide, which is simply unrealistic under our budget, and would fail to assess the behavior of more than 90 percent of the entire motor carrier population.

Our research shows that by focusing on the most at-risk carriers, we effectively remove the companies most often involved with crashes from the road.  We continue to work with all partners to ensure an efficient, transparent system to provide safer transportation for everyone on the road.

Does it surprise anyone that these trucking company industry associations don’t want the public to know about their safety problems?

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© Copyright 2014 Brett A. Emison

Follow @BrettEmison on Twitter.

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