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FMCSA Releases CSA App, ATA Calls It Irresponsible

March 17, 2015

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The QC mobile app for Android. via Google Play
The QC mobile app for Android. via Google Play

UPDATED — The Federal Motor Carrier Administration has released a smartphone app that will allow for more convenient access to current online safety performance information on interstate truck and bus companies.

The app is called QCMobile and is expected to be used as a tool for state and federal law enforcement as well as insurers, brokers, freight-forwarders and others interested in reviewing USDOT registration and safety performance of motor carriers.

QC stands for Query Central. FMCSA said it wants to increase transparency and improve road safety by making current safety data readily available to everyone.

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“Safety is our highest priority, so we are committed to using every resource available at our finger tips to ensure the safety of travelers,” said Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary.

Currently, law enforcement and safety inspectors use custom software to log into a national database to check safety information on truck and bus companies. The QCMobile app requires no log-in and can bring up the federal operating status of a carrier to expedite an inspect/pass decision by a certified commercial vehicle safety inspector.

The app receives its data from a number of FMCSA sources and provides a summary of the results. It also has options to retrieve more detailed information covering a carrier’s seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories within the CSA safety-compliance program.

“FMCSA will continue to use all the tools, resources and partnerships available to further strengthen commercial vehicle safety across the country,” said Scott Darling, Acting Administrator of the agency. “Aggressive enforcement, research and technology development and deployment combined with strong stakeholder participation will continue to be directed toward removing unsafe trucks and buses from our roadways.”

The QCMobile app is available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

After the FMCSA's announcement the ATA responded with objections to the organization's continued enabling of public access to CSA scores.

"Today's announcement by the FMCSA is recklessness cloaking itself as transparency,” said ATA spokesman Sean McNally. “The Compliance, Safety, Accountability system was designed to better target potentially unsafe carriers, but a report issued by the GAO office last year characterized CSA safety scores as being unreliable and imprecise.”

The ATA went further saying the CSA often erroneously labels fleets as safe or unsafe which the FMCSA has looked past. The association added that given the unreliability of CSA scores, it was inappropriate for the FMCSA to encourage public access and use.

“We urge the public not to use this app given the serious flaws in CSA that have been identified by GAO and others,” said McNally.

Updated 3/17 at 2:30 p.m. to include ATA reaction.

Comments

  1. 1. Clyde C. Kerns [ March 18, 2015 @ 05:10AM ]

    What is it with our government employees and bureaucracies. Unfortunately the civil servants today lack both discernment and intuition about what is happening around them. They have a complete disregard for anyone's opinion other than their own, essentially they are talking and we are listening. Anthony Foxx and his subordinates need to read the old testament book of Numbers about Balaam the profit whom beat his donkey for having more discernment than himself. Unfortunately for our officials it took a divine miracle for Balaam's eyes to be opened; what will it take for our officials to start realizing they are not the only one in the room, with the only opinion that matters.

  2. 2. Kathleen Hartman [ March 18, 2015 @ 06:28AM ]

    I just downloaded the app and searched using our MC number. The app shows that we have $750,000 of Bodily Injury/Property Damage Insurance and 0 cargo insurance.
    In reality, we have $2M BIPD, $1M excess liability and $150K cargo insurance.
    Kathleen Hartman
    T.K. Trucking, L.L.C.

  3. 3. Brad Watkins [ March 18, 2015 @ 08:06AM ]

    The CSA/SMS system is truly flawed. Motor carriers are graded on a curve, so if your carrier is among the best, but at the bottom of that heap, you're judged to be "unsafe". There are many roadside defects that are not even scored, for example multiple brake defects on the same vehicle that violate the same regulations are counted as one. This is one of the reasons Congress is looking into FMCSA itself. Contact your congressman and let them know your feelings. Doing something is not always better than doing nothing. And, there are alternatives among the private industry to separate the safer carriers from those that are less safe.

  4. 4. Paula M [ March 19, 2015 @ 05:09AM ]

    I just tried to look up a couple of my client trucking companies who have active authorities and their status is listed in red as "unable to operate". Our trucking companies don't need another reason to be stopped by the DOT. Hope it is fixed soon.

  5. 5. Brad Watkins [ March 19, 2015 @ 07:49AM ]

    Paula M. Check your carriers' MCS-150 (registration dates). Many carriers that do not keep up their re-registration are being warned, then having their authorities pulled when the MCS-150s lapse too long. The only other reasons would be lapse in insurance or CRs resulting in serious violations.

  6. 6. Bob [ March 19, 2015 @ 09:46AM ]

    The ATA represents the biggest violators out there, of course they'd have a problem with this.

  7. 7. Shawn [ March 23, 2015 @ 03:07PM ]

    What about an app that provides truck drivers with information on the people they share the road with like cars and pickup trucks that way we can see they driving record abs their stake vehicle maintenance record abs driving record that way we can all be safe out on the road!!!! But that will never happen because they have rights and a truck driver or company don't have any rights they are second class!

  8. 8. travis [ March 24, 2015 @ 12:44PM ]

    I can not find the app

  9. 9. L Mattson [ March 24, 2015 @ 04:07PM ]

    i think it has it's pros and cons. Pros being that shippers should be able to check out the carriers that are hauling their freight. That's just good business. On the other hand it shouldn't be an app that anyone can get a hold of. Anyone that's been out here doing the job for a while knows there are people out here looking for a payday and will do just about anything to do it...like getting into an accident with a big truck. All they would have to do is pull this app up on their phone and see who has a bad track record already and smack into them. A good team of lawyers would have no problem pinning it on the driver of the truck. I think shippers should be able to look at the trucking companies but use a computer and have to log in and out with a password. The general public has no need for this kind of information.

  10. 10. Mike [ March 25, 2015 @ 11:58AM ]

    QQMobile in the Google play

 

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