FMCSA official advises transporters to review SafeStat data for accuracy
Jun 1, 2004 12:00 PM
TANK truck carriers should carefully and regularly review the information about their operations that is filed with SafeStat, said Rick Gobbel, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Tennessee director. He made the remarks while giving an update on recent federal actions.
SafeStat is a data-driven analysis system that determines the current relative safety status of individual motor carriers. The system was developed by the Volpe Center for FMCSA, and is maintained and managed by FMCSA.
SafeStat semiannually identifies and prioritizes carriers for on-site FMCSA compliance reviews, identifies and monitors poorly performing carriers, and supports recommendation of evaluated carriers' drivers and vehicles for roadside inspections.
In addition to use by federal regulators, the information is available to anyone who accesses the Web site at http://ai.volpe.dot.gov.
Gobbel emphasized that carriers should be sure the number of drivers and trucks listed in the data is accurate because the number of those out of service may reflect a different picture for a growing company.
“Get your profiles and see where you should be,” he said.
FMCSA acknowledges that the SafeStat information contains significant errors, which is another reason for carriers to continually review their records.
In discussing other federal information, Gobbel said that beginning January 1, 2003, all carriers that obtained a new Department of Transportation (DOT) number will receive a compliance review within 180 days that will determine if they can continue in service.
Of the new carriers getting new DOT numbers, the majority have less than 10 trucks. Most of them inspected so far have passed the DOT inspection, he said.
Turning to another subject, Gobbel urged carriers to see that their drivers use their seat belts. He quoted figures that indicate of the drivers who die in crashes, only about 48 percent are wearing seat belts.
“Do everything you can to try to get your drivers to wear their seat belts,” he said. “Put it in your policy books that is it a requirement. Really work hard on that.”
Discussing new hours-of-service (HOS) rules, he reported that shippers appear to be taking more responsibility in adjusting loading procedures to accommodate drivers. He also said that drivers appear to have fewer questions about the new rules so that FMCSA is eliminating an HOS information call-in line it had established earlier.
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