Safety & Compliance

Court Will Hear Brokers' CSA Challenge in September

August 19, 2013

By Oliver Patton

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A coaltion of groups is challenging CSA. Photo: Evan Lockridge
A coaltion of groups is challenging CSA. Photo: Evan Lockridge
Freight brokers will air their case against the CSA safety enforcement program in court next month.

On September 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will hear arguments against CSA brought by the Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation.

The Alliance contends that by posting a Power Point presentation on CSA on its website, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration put its safety credentialing responsibility into the hands of brokers and shippers.

The agency did not put CSA or its Safety Measurement System through the public comment process that is required for federal regulations, the Alliance says.

Even though SMS data misrepresent carrier safety performance, the agency’s presentation portrayed it as equal to the process of determining safety fitness, it says

“The agency abdicated its statutory and constitutional obligation to provide uniform national safety fitness standards for motor carriers … thereby exposing shippers to a patchwork of state tort-law standards for assessing the safety of carriers without definitive Agency guidance,” the Alliance said in its brief.

The Alliance, which represents brokers and small carriers, wants the court to tell the agency to stop making SMS data available to the public.

In reply, the agency argues that the presentation materials do not constitute a rule, and that it has the authority to publish safety information besides a safety fitness determination.

Joining the Alliance are a number of groups and individual companies, including the Air & Expedite Motor Carriers Association, the National Association of Small Trucking Companies, Bolt Express, Refrigerated Food Express and Transplace.

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