Thursday, February 6, 2014

Comments on Proposed Enhancements to the Motor Carrier Safety Measurement System (SMS) Public Web Site

Dear ASECTT member:
Attached is a copy of our Comments regarding “Proposed Enhancements to the Motor Carrier Safety Measurement System (SMS) Public Web Site,” Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0392.  We included some new peer group analyses which further reinforces our conclusions that the agency’s grade on the curve methodology is fatally flawed and cannot withstand an objective evaluation of its merits.  Hopefully we have reminded the agency that its proposed PR campaign ignores material issues which must be addressed.
We want to thank our members who contributed their time and assistance in presenting this collaborative effort. 
I am also attaching the Comments filed by the ATA and OOIDA which have come to recognize that the methodology is fatally flawed and should not be published, as well as the Comments offered by the TIA which, while less critical of SMS methodology, are generally supportive of our position.  NASTC’s comments show the value of data mining and the over-arching competitive effect which SMS methodology has on small carriers. 
If the agency believed that this limited opportunity for notice of comment would be a predicate for acceptance of SMS methodology in the rulemaking to be announced late this Spring, we believe it will be disappointed.  Most of the comments were generally critical of publication ofSMS methodology and its renewed PR campaign.
Going forward, further data mining will be necessary to show that SMS methodology is not an accurate predictor of safety and cannot be touted as a replacement for the objective evaluation of carrier performance under which each carrier can pass or fail based upon its own merit.
In light of the continuing effort of Plaintiff’s bar to use SMS methodology as a weapon to embroil shippers and brokers (the beneficiaries of truck regulation) in negligent selection lawsuits, we ask for your continuing financial support and encouragement.
Thank you,
Tom Sanderson
President, ASECTT 

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