"Active, for hire" and "carriers" are defined as entities available to be hired by shippers and brokers to move freight with their own trucks at the time the report was released (May 1, 2012). They means they must have a DOT number and an MC number. Moreover, both their operating authority and FMCSA insurance filing are denoted as active.
Safety Ratings Program is Very Much Alive
With the advent of CSA in December 2010, some people prematurely dismissed the relevance of Safety Rating. By law, the only safety fitness determination FMCSA can make regarding a carrier is Safety Rating. Evidence shows that Safety Ratings are changing rapidly in the past year. The number of conditional carriers jumped by an unprecedented 1,156, and the number of satisfactory carriers dropped by 739. A full 78 percent of all carriers are not rated.
CSA Data is Not Widespread
The CSA program is slow in expanding its reach to more carriers. In February 2011 only 35 percent of carriers had at least one visible BASIC score of any kind. Today, only 922 more have even one visible BASIC. Due to the overall increase in carriers, the percentage of carriers with at least one BASIC dropped from 35.2 percent to 33.4 percent. Fully two thirds of carriers have no visible BASIC score reported at all. Of the 55,735 carriers with at least one visible BASIC score, 13 percent have an Alert in Unsafe Driving BASIC, and 34 percent have an Alert in Fatigued Driving BASIC.
That CSA seems to be helping FMCSA seems clear. As for its possible use by the public, it has far to go, including defining its safety fitness determination procedures in the coming year or so. In November 2011, Wells Fargo Securities ("Wells") studied 200 of the largest carriers' data. Presumably these carriers have the most CSA data due to their size. Wells found no statistical correlation to crash risk in any BASIC. FMCSA has since responded by saying that conclusion was wrong. The public awaits FMCSA's data repudiation of Wells.
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