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.
“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.