oversight

Commercial Motor Carriers: DOT Is Shifting to Performance-Based Standards to Assess Whether Carriers Operate Safely

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-11-03.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                United States General Accounting Office

GAO             Report to the Honorable Ray LaHood
                House of Representatives



November 1997
                COMMERCIAL
                MOTOR CARRIERS
                DOT Is Shifting to
                Performance-Based
                Standards to Assess
                Whether Carriers
                Operate Safely




GAO/RCED-98-8
      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Resources, Community, and
      Economic Development Division

      B-277481

      November 3, 1997

      The Honorable Ray LaHood
      House of Representatives

      Dear Mr. LaHood:

      About 5,000 people die annually in the United States in accidents involving
      commercial motor vehicles (large trucks, commercial buses, and
      hazardous materials vehicles). To reduce serious accidents involving these
      vehicles, the Office of Motor Carriers, within the Department of
      Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Highway Administration, is responsible for
      implementing commercial motor vehicle safety programs. The Office of
      Motor Carriers’ investigators conduct on-site reviews of motor carriers’
      compliance with federal safety regulations, known as compliance reviews,
      that are used to determine whether each carrier is fit to operate safely on
      the nation’s highways, known as a safety fitness rating. The Office of
      Motor Carriers also provides matching grants under the Motor Carrier
      Safety Assistance Program for states to perform roadside inspections of
      commercial vehicles and drivers, compliance reviews, and other
      commercial vehicle safety programs. The reauthorization of the Motor
      Carrier Safety Assistance Program is currently under consideration by the
      Congress as part of the deliberations over reauthorizing the Intermodal
      Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991.

      You requested that we examine the efficiency and effectiveness of the
      Office of Motor Carriers’ commercial motor vehicle safety programs.
      Specifically, you asked us to report on the efforts by the Office of Motor
      Carriers and the states to (1) reduce serious accidents by conducting
      roadside inspections and compliance reviews, (2) better target motor
      carriers for compliance reviews, and (3) improve the compliance review
      criteria for assessing and rating a carrier’s safety fitness. To obtain this
      information, we interviewed the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance
      Program’s coordinators for 16 states that we selected to provide
      geographical diversity and a range of compliance reviews performed. We
      also contacted participants in the five-state pilot program of the Office of
      Motor Carriers’ new Safety Status Measurement System, which uses
      accident data and the results of roadside inspections and compliance
      reviews to identify motor carriers with poor on-the-road performance for
      compliance reviews.




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                   Federal, state, and industry officials told us that federal and state
Results in Brief   initiatives to improve the safety of commercial vehicles and actions taken
                   by trucking firms to improve the safety of their trucks and drivers were the
                   most important factors behind the 42-percent reduction in the fatal
                   accident rate for large trucks from 1983 to 1995.1 In particular, the number
                   of roadside inspections increased from 25,000 performed by federal
                   inspectors in fiscal year 1983 to 2.1 million performed predominantly by
                   state inspectors in fiscal 1996. Compliance reviews also increased from
                   6,211 in fiscal year 1989 to 8,952 in fiscal 1996, in part because the Office of
                   Motor Carriers encouraged the states to develop comprehensive safety
                   programs for commercial vehicles, including compliance reviews.
                   Effective in fiscal year 1998, the Office of Motor Carriers revised the
                   criteria for awarding funding from the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance
                   Program to provide each state with more flexibility in choosing the
                   combination of programs—including roadside inspections and compliance
                   reviews—that would best reduce accidents involving commercial vehicles.

                   The Office of Motor Carriers has sought to target motor carriers that pose
                   the greatest potential risk to highway safety for compliance reviews. To do
                   this, the Office of Motor Carriers often targeted passenger carriers and
                   hazardous materials carriers—because of the potential serious
                   consequences if their vehicles were involved in accidents—rather than
                   carriers with the worst highway safety records. As a result, 63 percent of
                   the carriers that received a compliance review in fiscal year 1996 had not
                   had a recordable accident2 during the previous 12 months. In April 1997,
                   consistent with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the
                   Office of Motor Carriers began using performance-based data through its
                   Safety Status Measurement System to identify carriers with the worst
                   highway safety records. Complete and timely data on accidents, roadside
                   inspections, and compliance reviews that the states submit to the Office of
                   Motor Carriers are key to implementing performance-based criteria. While
                   many states have improved the completeness and timeliness of their data
                   submissions in recent years, the Office of Motor Carriers found that (1) the
                   states, overall, reported only about 74 percent of the recordable accidents
                   in 1995 and (2) during fiscal year 1997, five states submitted accident data
                   more than 6 months, on average, after the accidents occurred. Without
                   these data, the Office of Motor Carriers and the states cannot effectively


                   1
                    Large trucks accounted for 99 percent of the fatal accidents involving commercial motor vehicles in
                   1995.
                   2
                    A recordable accident is defined as one involving a commercial vehicle operating on a public road
                   that resulted in a fatality, bodily injury that required medical treatment, or the towing of a vehicle from
                   the accident scene.



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             target their limited compliance review resources on the motor carriers
             with safety problems.

             The Office of Motor Carriers is in the early stages of revising its criteria for
             assessing and rating a commercial motor carrier’s safety fitness. Currently,
             the Office of Motor Carriers rates carriers on the basis of compliance
             reviews that examine a carrier’s (1) compliance with federal motor carrier
             safety regulations (primarily those related to financial responsibility;
             drivers’ qualifications and operations, including hours-of-service; vehicle
             inspection and maintenance; and any hazardous materials handling) and
             (2) recordable, preventable accident rate. Trucking industry
             representatives favor revising the existing criteria for a safety fitness
             rating because, in their opinion, these criteria give too much weight to
             such record-keeping requirements as drivers’ hours-of-service records
             instead of on-the-road safety performance. While compliance reviews will
             continue to be an important element of the federal motor carrier safety
             program, the Office of Motor Carriers plans to publish an advance notice
             of proposed rule making later this year to solicit public comments on
             alternatives for rating motor carriers’ safety fitness. One option under
             consideration is to rely on accident data, roadside inspections, and other
             performance-based data for safety fitness ratings. This approach depends
             on the successful implementation of the Safety Status Measurement
             System and improved reporting of safety data.


             Established in 1983, the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP)
Background   provides grants to states to support commercial motor vehicle safety
             programs aimed at (1) large trucks that have a gross vehicle weight rating
             of at least 10,000 pounds, (2) vehicles used to transport more than 10
             passengers, and (3) vehicles used to transport hazardous materials. Under
             MCSAP, the federal government funds up to 80 percent of the costs of each
             state’s motor carrier safety program. Federal funding for MCSAP has
             increased from $8 million in fiscal year 1984 to $78.2 million in fiscal 1997.
             The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 required
             that by January 1994, each of the 48 contiguous states participate in
             Safetynet, the Office of Motor Carrier’s (OMC) automated database system
             used to monitor the safety performance of commercial motor carriers. The
             act also directed OMC to provide grants for states to develop a Commercial
             Vehicle Information System3 that would link OMC’s motor carrier safety
             information with states’ motor vehicle registration systems. The

             3
             OMC recently changed the name of this program to Performance Registration Information System
             Management.



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B-277481




Commercial Vehicle Information System project led to the development of
OMC’s Safety Status Measurement System (SafeStat) program.


The Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 directed the Secretary of
Transportation to establish a procedure to determine the safety fitness of
owners and operators of commercial vehicles. In response, OMC modified
its existing safety management audit program to institute safety reviews4
with follow-up compliance reviews. During a compliance review, OMC
and/or state investigators perform an on-site review of a motor carrier’s
compliance with federal safety regulations by assessing its policies,
management controls, and operations. Typically, investigators examine a
sample of the carrier’s records, including drivers’ hours-of-service logs,
commercial drivers’ license requirements, alcohol- and drug-testing
records, vehicle maintenance and inspection records, and accident
records. Investigators also may perform full vehicle inspections of several
of the carrier’s vehicles. The investigators give the carrier a satisfactory,
conditional, or unsatisfactory rating on the basis of this review.

From 1983 through 1995, the rate of fatal accidents involving large trucks
dropped by 42 percent—from 4.3 to 2.5 fatal accidents per 100 million
vehicle miles traveled.5 (See fig. 1.) The lower fatal accident rate reflects a
(1) 57-percent growth in total vehicle miles driven by large trucks and
(2) 9-percent drop in the number of large trucks involved in fatal
accidents. However, almost all of this decline occurred during MCSAP’s first
10 years; since 1992, the fatal accident rate has been relatively stable. In
contrast, the total number of large trucks involved in fatal accidents
increased from 4,035 in 1992 to 4,740 in 1996; 4,035 and 5,126 people died
from these accidents, respectively. (See table I.1 in app. I.)




4
 Safety reviews were designed to teach motor carriers about safety regulations and determine whether
the carriers’ safety management controls complied with these regulations. In 1994, OMC replaced
safety reviews with educational contacts performed only by states that do not rate a carrier’s
operations.
5
 DOT’s traffic safety data track large trucks more carefully than other commercial vehicles because the
former are involved in substantially more fatal accidents. For example, only 23 intercity buses were
involved in fatal accidents in 1995.



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Figure 1: Rate of Fatal Accidents Involving Large Trucks, 1983 Through 1995

5.0   Fatal accident rate (per 100 million miles traveled)

4.5

4.0

3.5

3.0

2.5

2.0

1.5

1.0

0.5

 0

  1983         1984          1985          1986         1987        1988        1989        1990        1991         1992     1993      1994      1995




                                                         Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.




                                                         The interstate trucking industry has grown rapidly in recent years from
                                                         about 213,000 firms in 1990 to about 379,000 in 1996.


                                                         OMC and state officials and industry representatives told us that the most
MCSAP and Other                                          important factors in reducing the rate of fatal accidents involving
Initiatives Have                                         commercial vehicles were federal and state initiatives to improve safety
Contributed to                                           for commercial vehicles and actions that trucking firms have taken to
                                                         improve the safety of their trucks and drivers. In particular, the states
Improved Commercial                                      assumed the responsibility for conducting roadside inspections of
Motor Vehicle Safety                                     commercial vehicles under MCSAP, and OMC expanded its compliance
                                                         review program under the 1984 safety fitness requirement. OMC and the
                                                         states also established drug- and alcohol-testing requirements and a
                                                         commercial driver’s license program designed to eliminate the opportunity
                                                         for drivers to evade law enforcement penalties by using commercial
                                                         licenses from more than one state. As OMC and the states expanded their
                                                         safety programs, many trucking firms implemented safety programs and



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                            improved their vehicles’ maintenance. OMC recently announced that it will
                            work with the states to develop performance-based Commercial Vehicle
                            Safety Plans that give each state more flexibility to decide the best
                            combination of programs for reducing truck accidents while maintaining
                            the current levels of roadside inspections.


States Conduct Almost All   With the establishment of MCSAP, the responsibility for conducting roadside
Roadside Inspections        inspections of commercial vehicles shifted from OMC to the states. As a
                            result, total inspections increased from 25,000 performed by OMC
                            inspectors in 1983 to 2.1 million performed predominantly by state
                            inspectors in 1996. (See table I.2 in app. I.) The use of state inspectors also
                            expanded the program’s coverage because federal personnel are
                            authorized to inspect only commercial vehicles engaged in interstate and
                            foreign commerce, while state personnel can inspect vehicles operating in
                            both intrastate and interstate commerce. In fiscal year 1996, 16 percent of
                            the vehicles inspected were engaged in intrastate commerce.

                            State inspectors and enforcement officers can conduct any of five levels of
                            inspection that focus on the vehicle and/or the driver. Level 1 inspections,6
                             the most rigorous, accounted for 46 percent of the fiscal year 1996
                            inspections, ranging from 91 percent of the inspections in California to
                            4 percent of the inspections in South Dakota. (See table I.3 in app. I.) In
                            comparison, level 2 inspections, which check the driver and readily
                            observable vehicle items—such as tires and lights but not the
                            brakes—accounted for 30 percent of the inspections; level 3 inspections,
                            which focus on such driver-related items as hours of service and the
                            commercial driver’s license, accounted for 22 percent of the inspections;
                            and level 4 and level 5 inspections (special purpose inspections)
                            accounted for the remaining 2 percent of the inspections in fiscal year
                            1996.

                            An important measure of safety is the percentage of vehicles and drivers
                            that inspectors put out of service until violations are corrected.
                            Out-of-service rates for vehicles have dropped from a high of 39 percent,
                            on average, in fiscal year 1986 to 21 percent, on average, in fiscal 1996.7
                            The out-of-service rate for drivers generally has remained steady, ranging


                            6
                             A level 1 inspection involves a complete examination of the vehicle, including (1) an examination of
                            brakes, tires, lights, and the load, to determine if it is properly secured, and (2) a review of the driver,
                            including hours-of-service logs.
                            7
                             The out-of-service rate for vehicles in fiscal year 1996 was 26.3 percent if level 3 and level 4
                            inspections, which primarily focus on the driver, are excluded.



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                          from 6 to 8 percent during this period. State police officials responsible for
                          roadside inspection programs in several states told us that the condition of
                          trucks on the road today is substantially better than that of trucks at the
                          beginning of MCSAP.


States Are Performing     While OMC has had the primary responsibility for conducting compliance
More Compliance Reviews   reviews since the inception of the safety fitness program, many states have
                          substantially increased their involvement in an effort to develop
                          comprehensive commercial vehicle safety programs. OMC performed 6,211
                          compliance reviews and the states performed 5 in fiscal year 1989, the first
                          year for which data are available. In fiscal year 1996, OMC performed 5,241
                          compliance reviews, and states performed 3,711.8 (See table I.4 in app. I.)
                          Figure 2 shows that 26 states performed at least 25 compliance reviews in
                          fiscal year 1996; 11 states performed fewer than 25 compliance reviews;
                          and 13 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico did not perform
                          any compliance reviews.




                          8
                           In addition, the California Highway Patrol performed 14,785 terminal inspections pursuant to
                          California state law. These terminal inspections do not meet OMC’s compliance review standards
                          because they do not include, for example, a review of a carrier’s policies and drivers’ hours-of-service
                          logs.



                          Page 7                                                 GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
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Figure 2: Compliance Reviews Performed by Each State, Fiscal Year 1996




                          States that performed at least 25 compliance reviews
                          States that performed 1 to 24 compliance reviews
                          States did not perform compliance reviews




                                             Note: Totals exclude California’s terminal inspections as well as any compliance reviews of
                                             shippers, intrastate carriers, 16-passenger vans, and school buses.

                                             Source: OMC.




                                             The 16 MCSAP state coordinators we contacted generally believe that
                                             compliance reviews are an essential element of a comprehensive
                                             commercial vehicle safety program. Greater state involvement in
                                             conducting compliance reviews would extend the program’s coverage to
                                             include intrastate motor carriers, which OMC has no authority to audit.
                                             During the past 3 years, about 26 percent of the commercial vehicle
                                             accidents reported to Safetynet involved vehicles operated by intrastate
                                             carriers, including dump trucks and garbage trucks. Maryland State Police



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                          officials noted that these trucks may rarely be inspected because they
                          operate within a metropolitan area and can more readily bypass state
                          weigh stations by using other routes. In fiscal year 1996, 24 states
                          conducted compliance reviews of one or more intrastate commercial
                          motor carriers.

                          OMC  officials told us that their policy is to encourage, but not require,
                          states to develop compliance review programs. While the OMC officials
                          support a greater state role in conducting compliance reviews, they noted
                          that OMC wants to give each state more flexibility to decide the
                          combination of programs that would best reduce commercial vehicle
                          accidents. OMC also has offered states the option to issue “U.S. DOT
                          numbers” to intrastate carriers and enter them into OMC’s motor carrier
                          management information system to provide a single set of identification
                          numbers for tracking accidents and the results of roadside inspections and
                          compliance reviews.9 OMC requires, however, that states conduct a census
                          of their intrastate carriers to provide a complete and accurate list of
                          carriers. Connecticut, Kentucky, Indiana, Utah, and Wyoming have
                          completed their census, and other states have expressed an interest in
                          using U.S. DOT numbers.

                          MCSAP coordinators for several states we contacted believe that their state
                          could assume lead responsibility for conducting compliance reviews.
                          However, MCSAP coordinators in several other states expressed concern
                          about further expanding their state’s role in the compliance review
                          program because of funding and personnel constraints. For example, one
                          coordinator stated that, without additional MCSAP funding, his state may
                          have to reduce the number of roadside inspections to conduct more
                          compliance reviews. Some MCSAP coordinators also told us that their state
                          laws do not provide them with adequate legal authority to conduct
                          compliance reviews of intrastate carriers or to impose civil fines for the
                          violations found during a review.


OMC Requires              Effective in fiscal year 1998, OMC initiated performance-based Commercial
Performance-Based State   Vehicle Safety Plans to replace the State Enforcement Plan that each state
Safety Plans              submits annually as a basis for receiving MCSAP funds. The new plan is
                          intended to give each state more flexibility in choosing the combination of
                          programs that would best achieve the goal of reducing motor carrier

                          9
                           OMC requires that each interstate motor carrier obtain either a U.S. DOT number or an Interstate
                          Commerce Commission number and display it on each of its interstate vehicles. DOT has initiated a
                          rule making to consolidate the two sets of carrier numbers in response to the termination of the
                          Interstate Commerce Commission in 1995.



                          Page 9                                              GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
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                       accidents in the state while retaining minimum levels of effort for roadside
                       inspections. In contrast, the State Enforcement Plan had established safety
                       activity goals for the forthcoming year, including the number of roadside
                       inspections and law enforcement activities.

                       In fiscal year 1996, OMC provided the states with $54 million for MCSAP’s
                       basic grant program and $22.6 million for designated program activities,
                       such as hazardous materials training and covert operations.10 (See table I.5
                       in app. I.) Several MCSAP coordinators suggested moving some of MCSAP’s
                       designated program funding to MCSAP’s basic grant funding because, in
                       accordance with the new Commercial Vehicle Safety Plans, the states
                       should be given more flexibility to determine the best use of funds for
                       reducing motor carrier accidents. Some MCSAP coordinators said that using
                       funds for designated activities sometimes is not an efficient use of their
                       state’s limited resources, adding that their state could use these funds
                       more productively in other motor carrier safety programs.


                       OMC  and the states have rated the safety fitness of about 34 percent of the
SafeStat Is Designed   379,000 commercial motor carriers currently engaged in interstate and
to Better Target       foreign commerce. In 1989, OMC had announced its intention to assess the
Compliance Reviews     safety fitness of each commercial motor carrier. However, because the
                       number of interstate carriers has grown rapidly in recent years and
                       resources for conducting compliance reviews are limited, OMC
                       subsequently targeted compliance reviews on carriers that pose the
                       greatest potential risk to highway safety. In fiscal year 1996, OMC and the
                       states conducted 8,952 compliance reviews of commercial motor carriers,
                       including about 4,324 first-time reviews and 4,628 follow-up reviews.

                       In fiscal year 1996, OMC identified motor carriers for compliance reviews
                       primarily through its Selective Compliance and Enforcement (SCE) list,
                       which prioritized motor carriers on such factors as the commodity being
                       transported and the carrier’s out-of-service rate for vehicles, prior
                       compliance reviews, and the written complaints that it had received. In
                       April 1997, consistent with the Government Performance and Results Act
                       of 1993,11 OMC began using SafeStat, a computer program that uses
                       performance-based data on accidents, roadside inspections, and


                       10
                         The covert operations program is designed to catch out-of-service vehicles that leave a roadside
                       inspection area before repairs have been made.
                       11
                        The act required federal agencies to develop, by the end of fiscal year 1997, 5-year strategic plans that
                       are the starting point for agencies to set annual goals for programs and measure their performance in
                       achieving these goals. (See 5 U.S.C. 306.)



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                                compliance reviews to identify problem carriers. OMC also is working with
                                the states to improve the completeness and timeliness of their safety data
                                reporting to the Safetynet database.


OMC’s SCE List Used             As shown in table 1, OMC used the SCE list to select 46 percent of the motor
Descriptive and                 carriers for a compliance review in fiscal year 1996. The SCE list prioritized
Performance Data                motor carriers on the basis of (1) the commodity transported; (2) their
                                annual mileage; (3) the months since the last safety fitness rating; (4) their
                                vehicles’ out-of-service rate; (5) their drivers’ out-of-service rate; (6) their
                                preventable, recordable accident rate; and (7) their overall safety fitness
                                rating. (See app. II for a more detailed description of each factor.) Of the
                                remaining compliance reviews conducted, 14 percent were to follow up
                                prior enforcement cases, 14 percent were in response to complaints,12
                                9 percent were initial reviews of carriers’ operations; 4 percent were in
                                response to carriers’ requests for a compliance review; and 12 percent
                                were for other reasons. Among the other reasons for a compliance review
                                is if a motor carrier’s vehicle was involved in a major accident that
                                resulted in multiple fatalities or closed down an interstate highway for
                                several hours.

Table 1: Source of Compliance
Reviews in Fiscal Year 1996                                                        Number of
                                Category                                   compliance reviews                               Percent
                                SCE rating                                                   4,406                                  46
                                Enforcement follow-upa                                       1,387                                  14
                                           a
                                Complaint                                                    1,356                                  14
                                Initial reviewb                                                910                                   9
                                Carrier request                                                369                                   4
                                Other reasons                                                1,159                                  12
                                a
                                 In February 1997, OMC issued guidance that no longer requires that a compliance review be
                                conducted in response to an enforcement case or a complaint about a carrier if its on-the-road
                                performance meets OMC’s criteria.
                                b
                                 OMC has stopped citing this reason because it no longer seeks to provide a safety fitness rating
                                for each motor carrier.

                                Source: OMC.



                                Compliance review investigators found that 63 percent of the carriers
                                examined in fiscal year 1996 did not have a recordable accident during the


                                12
                                  The Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 requires OMC to investigate any nonfrivolous written complaint
                                alleging a substantial violation of federal motor carrier safety regulations.



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                            previous 12 months. OMC also calculated that the national average accident
                            rate for all carriers that had a compliance review in fiscal year 1996 was
                            0.5 recordable, preventable accidents per million miles driven. About
                            77 percent of these carriers had an accident rate below the average rate.

                            In a March 1997 report,13 the DOT Office of Inspector General found that
                            OMC’s SCE list did not ensure that carriers with the worst safety records
                            were targeted for compliance reviews. In particular, the report stated that
                            the SCE list did not define problem carriers and used factors that did not
                            sufficiently emphasize on-the-road performance to prioritize carriers. For
                            example, a carrier that transported passengers or hazardous materials was
                            given more points and, therefore, was more likely to be reviewed than one
                            that transported general freight, regardless of each carrier’s actual
                            accident record. The report also stated that a carrier’s annual mileage, the
                            number of months since its last safety fitness rating, and its overall safety
                            fitness rating were descriptive factors not directly related to the carrier’s
                            on-the-road performance. The Inspector General recommended that OMC
                            replace its existing system for prioritizing carriers for compliance reviews
                            with one that uses on-the-road performance and stated that the
                            implementation of SafeStat satisfied the recommendation’s intent.


SafeStat Uses Safety Data   To address the limitations associated with the SCE list in identifying
to Improve Targeting        commercial motor carriers with poor on-the-road performance, OMC has
                            worked with the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, a DOT
                            research laboratory, to develop the SafeStat computer program. SafeStat
                            ranks motor carriers on the basis of performance-based data in four safety
                            evaluation areas (SEA): (1) accident rates; (2) driver factors, including
                            out-of-service violations from roadside inspections; (3) vehicle factors,
                            including out-of-service violations from roadside inspections; and
                            (4) safety management practices and policy, including the results of prior
                            compliance reviews and enforcement actions. SafeStat also weights these
                            data on the basis of the severity and age of an event. For example, SafeStat
                            gives more weight to a fatal or serious injury accident than to a tow-away
                            accident and to an accident that occurred within 6 months than one that
                            occurred more than 6 months previously. (See app. III for a more detailed
                            description of SafeStat.)

                            Table 2 shows the SafeStat categories for carriers ranked among the worst
                            25 percent of all carriers in at least one SEA. OMC will conduct a compliance

                            13
                               Motor Carrier Safety Program: Federal Highway Administration, DOT Office of Inspector General
                            (AS-FH-7-006, Mar. 26, 1997).



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                                          review of each carrier included in category A or category B. OMC also
                                          considers those carriers in category C to be poor performers. Each
                                          category A, B, and C motor carrier remains in OMC’s Motor Carrier Safety
                                          Improvement Process until its on-the-road performance improves
                                          sufficiently for SafeStat not to subsequently identify them.

Table 2: SafeStat Categories for
Carriers Ranked Among the Worst 25        Category                  SEA ranking
Percent of All Carriers in at Least One   A                         Carrier among the worst 25 percent of all carriers in either
SEA                                                                 all four SEAs or the accident SEA plus two other SEAs.
                                          B                         Carrier among the worst 25 percent of all carriers in either
                                                                    three SEAs, excluding the accident SEA, or the accident
                                                                    SEA plus one other SEA.
                                          C                         Carrier among the worst 25 percent of all carriers in two
                                                                    SEAs, excluding the accident SEA.
                                          D                         Carrier among the worst 25 percent of all carriers in the
                                                                    accident SEA.
                                          E                         Carrier among the worst 25 percent of all carriers in the
                                                                    driver SEA.
                                          F                         Carrier among the worst 25 percent of all carriers in the
                                                                    vehicle SEA.
                                          G                         Carrier among the worst 25 percent of all carriers in the
                                                                    safety management SEA.

                                          The Volpe National Transportation Systems Center tested SafeStat’s
                                          effectiveness in identifying problem carriers by using prior year
                                          information and then comparing the subsequent accident rates of carriers
                                          that SafeStat identified as being poor performers with those for all other
                                          carriers. The Volpe Center found, in particular, that the subsequent
                                          accident rate for poor performers in the (1) accident SEA was 259 percent
                                          higher than that for motor carriers not identified and (2) driver SEA was
                                          81 percent higher than that for motor carriers not identified. Many of the
                                          MCSAP coordinators we interviewed believe that SafeStat will considerably
                                          improve the targeting of problem carriers for compliance reviews as
                                          compared with the SCE list’s criteria. OMC officials noted that if SafeStat
                                          targets problem carriers better than the SCE list does, OMC and state
                                          investigators could improve the program’s effectiveness while performing
                                          about the same number of compliance reviews. However, OMC officials
                                          noted that better targeting could reduce the total number of compliance
                                          reviews performed because investigators may become involved with more
                                          complex enforcement cases, increasing the staff days spent per case.




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                      In April 1997, OMC used SafeStat to generate its first nationwide list of
                      problem carriers, which included 1,700 category A and B carriers and
                      3,300 category C carriers. OMC will generate a new list of problem carriers
                      every 6 months. Beginning in October 1997, OMC is sending letters to
                      category C motor carriers notifying them of their poor safety performance.
                      Each letter will identify the carrier’s accidents, out-of-service orders from
                      roadside inspections, and violations and enforcement actions from
                      compliance reviews that provide the basis for the SafeStat score. The
                      letters will give a carrier the opportunity to correct any database mistakes,
                      especially if an accident or inspection was wrongly assigned to the carrier.
                      The letters will advise category C carriers that they will be subject to a
                      compliance review unless their SafeStat score subsequently improves.

                      OMC’s policy that a compliance review be performed of each category A
                      and B carrier includes a revisit to any carrier that remains in either
                      category A or B when a new SafeStat list is generated. OMC also plans to
                      conduct a compliance review of any carrier listed in category C after the
                      carrier has been listed in category C for a third time. In addition to these
                      motor carriers, OMC’s regional offices can target other motor carriers from
                      (1) category D carriers that were among the worst 25 percent of the
                      carriers in the accident category only and/or (2) hazardous materials
                      carriers and bus companies that the SCE list prioritized because of the
                      potential severity of an accident involving these carriers. Roadside
                      inspection data may not be sufficient for a SafeStat ranking for bus
                      companies because buses often are allowed to bypass weigh stations so
                      that passengers are not inconvenienced.

                      SafeStat is part of the larger Commercial Vehicle Information System
                      demonstration program. The program links OMC’s databases with states’
                      motor vehicle registration systems, which provide current information on
                      each vehicle that a carrier operates. An OMC official told us that the
                      extension of the Commercial Vehicle Information System demonstration
                      program to all 50 states is essential to enable SafeStat to effectively
                      compare accident rates among carriers.


Many States Have      A key element in implementing performance-based criteria for selecting
Improved the          motor carriers is ensuring that the Safetynet database contains complete,
Completeness and      accurate, and timely data about each motor carrier’s safety performance.
                      The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 took a first
Timeliness of Their   step toward developing a comprehensive database by requiring that the 48
Safetynet Data        contiguous states submit data to Safetynet on commercial vehicles’



                      Page 14                                 GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
B-277481




recordable accidents and the results of roadside inspections and
compliance reviews. The states have substantially improved the quantity
and quality of the safety data on commercial vehicles reported to Safetynet
since 1991. (See app. IV for three examples of innovative ways that the
states are collecting, analyzing, and using these data to improve traffic
enforcement.) OMC and the states increased the percentage of reported
accidents from about 14 percent in fiscal year 1992 to an estimated
74 percent in fiscal 1995.

To improve the completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of roadside
inspection data, OMC has provided funding through MCSAP grants for states
to purchase laptop computers and special software, known as ASPEN, that
enable inspectors to upload inspection results directly into Safetynet’s
electronic database. Using ASPEN, instead of paper forms, improves
accuracy because the software alerts inspectors to inconsistent
information, particularly if the carrier’s name and the entered U.S. DOT
number do not match. (Without the correct U.S. DOT number, SafeStat
cannot attribute the inspection results to the motor carrier.) The
electronic entry of the inspection results also substantially reduces the
time needed to transmit data to Safetynet because it eliminates the step of
mailing paper forms to a central office for entry into the computer’s
database.

In addition, to better ensure that adequate inspection data are collected on
the drivers and vehicles of individual motor carriers, OMC introduced the
Inspection Selection System (ISS) software in 1995. As of March 1997, 36
states were using ISS to help inspectors select vehicles for inspection and
focus the inspection on problems identified in a carrier’s previous
inspections. As a vehicle pulls into an inspection station, its U.S. DOT
number is entered into ISS. The program assigns the vehicle a score on the
basis of the number and the results of the motor carrier’s previous
inspections and compliance reviews. Specifically, ISS recommends an
inspection for a motor carrier that has a poor safety record or has had very
few roadside inspections relative to its size in the prior 2 years.
Alternatively, state inspectors may select vehicles for inspections on the
basis of either random sampling or judgmental factors, including the type
of commodity transported or observed safety violations.

Improving the completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of accident data is
more difficult than improving roadside inspection data primarily because
(1) accident reporting is decentralized, involving many more state and
local law enforcement officers, and (2) the officer at an accident scene



Page 15                                GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
B-277481




often has other more urgent concerns and gives low priority to obtaining
all of the necessary information and filing the accident report with the
state. Several states told us that they are taking actions to encourage their
law enforcement officers to improve the reporting of accidents involving
commercial vehicles. For example, some states we contacted are
providing officers with more training in completing the 22-item
supplemental form developed by the National Governors’ Association for
reporting commercial vehicle accidents. Similarly, some states are
incorporating the supplemental form’s items into their basic
accident-reporting form to further streamline the needed information. An
OMC official noted that accident reporting is likely to improve as law
enforcement officers become aware that SafeStat is using their reports to
identify poor performers in their states.

In December 1996, OMC provided the states with guidance that tightened
the time frames for uploading (1) roadside inspection and compliance
review data to within 7 days if the data are collected electronically or
within 21 days if paper forms are used and (2) accident data to within 90
days from the date of the accident. Previously, the standards for uploading
the information were 90 days for inspections, 30 days for compliance
reviews, and 180 days for accidents. OMC’s data showed that the states, on
average, had reduced the time for uploading roadside inspection data to
Safetynet from 49 days in fiscal year 1996 to 42 days in fiscal 1997.
However, 42 states did not meet OMC’s 21-day standard for paper forms,
and only Connecticut met OMC’s 7-day standard for electronically
uploading inspection data. OMC’s data show that the states, on average,
reduced the time for uploading accident data to Safetynet from 159 days in
fiscal year 1996 to 98 days in fiscal 1997. (This improvement is somewhat
overstated because no accident data for Maryland were uploaded during
fiscal year 1997.) Five states did not meet OMC’s former 180-day standard
for uploading accident data during fiscal year 1997.

Eight of the 16 MCSAP coordinators we contacted do not believe that their
state will meet the tighter time frames for uploading inspection and
compliance review data. Eight MCSAP coordinators also do not believe that
their state will meet the new accident-reporting time frames. For example,
Ohio’s MCSAP coordinator told us that Ohio relies on the voluntary
cooperation of local police departments to report commercial vehicle
accidents, unlike many states that require state and local police to file
traffic accident reports with a state highway agency. Ohio’s MCSAP
coordinator also noted that uploading accident data into Safetynet has
been delayed by a backlog in electronically entering the data from paper



Page 16                                 GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
                            B-277481




                            forms in the state’s central office. OMC officials acknowledged that if
                            commercial motor carriers’ accidents were unreported, their SafeStat
                            rankings would be reduced for the accident SEA, possibly allowing some
                            carriers to avoid being listed among the worst 25 percent of the
                            performers and subsequently not receive a compliance review.


                            OMC uses a compliance review to assess a commercial motor carrier’s
OMC Has Used                management controls that results in a safety fitness rating. Trucking
Compliance Reviews          industry representatives have opposed using compliance reviews to rate a
to Rate a Carrier’s         carrier’s safety fitness, stating that too much weight is given to
                            record-keeping requirements that may not correlate with a firm’s
Safety Fitness              on-the-road safety performance. While OMC will continue to perform
                            compliance reviews, especially to upgrade the safety management of
                            problem carriers, OMC plans to publish an advance notice of proposed rule
                            making later this year to solicit public comments on alternatives for rating
                            a carrier’s safety fitness, including the possible use of performance-based
                            criteria.


Drivers’ Hours-Of-Service   In a compliance review, trained investigators assess a motor carrier’s
Regulations Result in the   compliance with federal motor carrier safety regulations that are divided
Most Safety Violations      into general, driver-related, operations-related, vehicle-related, and
                            hazardous materials-related rating factors.14 The investigators also
                            examine the carrier’s recordable accidents. OMC distinguishes among its
                            motor carrier safety regulations by designating certain regulations as
                            (1) acute, because violating one of these regulations would create an
                            immediate risk to persons or property, or (2) critical, because violations, if
                            occurring in patterns,15 would indicate a breakdown in the effective
                            control over essential safety functions. Examples of acute regulations are
                            several related to controlled substances and alcohol use and testing.
                            Examples of critical regulations are several driver’s hours-of-service
                            regulations that specify the maximum working hours and minimum hours
                            off duty for drivers at selected times during an 8-day period.

                            Each compliance rating factor is evaluated to determine whether the
                            carrier violated any of the acute and critical regulations. A carrier’s rating


                            14
                              OMC’s national training center provides a 6-week training course for instructing investigators on how
                            to conduct a compliance review, including interpersonal skills and role playing for interviewing a
                            motor carrier’s personnel and conducting a closeout with the carrier’s management.
                            15
                             A pattern is defined as at least two violations that also constitute at least 10 percent of the occasions
                            where like violations could have occurred.



                            Page 17                                                 GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
B-277481




factor is (1) satisfactory if no violations of acute or critical regulations
exist, (2) conditional if one violation of an acute or critical regulation
exists, and (3) unsatisfactory if two or more violations of acute or critical
regulations exist. In addition, each carrier is rated on the number of
recordable, preventable accidents per million miles that its vehicles
traveled during the past year. (See table V.1 in app. V.)

Of the motor carriers that received a compliance review in fiscal year
1996, 35 percent were rated unsatisfactory for the operational rating
factor, which includes hours-of-service regulations, while 13 percent were
rated unsatisfactory for the driver rating factor—the second highest
unsatisfactory category. (See table V.2 in app. V.) A substantial number of
carriers violated at least one critical driver’s hours-of-service regulation.
(See table V.3 in app.V.) OMC gives double weight to the violation of these
regulations because of the link between hours-of-service violations and
driver fatigue.

OMC does not track the time that investigators spend evaluating each rating
factor. Compliance review investigators told us that they spend between
30 and 40 percent of their time examining the driver’s hours-of-service
records during a typical compliance review, but they added that this
percentage could vary, depending on known problems, available records,
and whether it was a first visit or a follow-up. We did not identify any
studies that specifically analyzed the relationship between the accuracy of
the driver’s hours-of-service logs and accidents; however, we found two
studies that generally examined these issues. A 1995 study by the National
Transportation Safety Board on single-vehicle heavy truck crashes found
that drivers were more likely to have exceeded OMC’s maximum allowable
hours of service in fatigue-related accidents.16 A 1996 study by the
Northwestern University Traffic Institute examined the relationship
between a carrier’s hours-of-service logs and accident rates, but the study
primarily relied on interviews with representatives of 26 motor carriers
that had received a compliance review.17 The study stated that the most
frequent suggestion for modifying OMC’s safety fitness rating system was to
give more weight to performance-based measures, including accidents and
roadside inspection results, and eliminate the stringent emphasis on
record keeping. In November 1996, OMC published an advance notice of


16
   Factors That Affect Fatigue in Heavy Truck Accidents, National Transportation Safety Board,
NTSB/SS-95/01 (Jan. 1995).
17
 “Evaluation of the US DOT Federal Highway Administration Motor Carrier Safety Rating System,”
Northwestern University Traffic Institute (July 1996). The study was conducted for the American
Trucking Associations.



Page 18                                              GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
                            B-277481




                            proposed rule making in the Federal Register to request comments on its
                            hours-of-service regulation (49 C.F.R. part 395), as required by the
                            Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 (P.L. 104-88).


Few Motor Carriers          Of the 8,952 carriers that received a compliance review in fiscal year 1996,
Appealed Their Safety       54 percent were rated satisfactory, 32 percent were rated conditional, and
Fitness Ratings in Fiscal   12 percent were rated unsatisfactory. (See table V.4 in app. V.) A carrier’s
                            overall safety fitness rating is satisfactory if none of the six rating factors
Year 1996                   are unsatisfactory and at most two rating factors are conditional. A
                            carrier’s rating is conditional if either no rating factor is unsatisfactory and
                            more than two rating factors are conditional or one rating factor is
                            unsatisfactory and at most two rating factors are conditional. A carrier’s
                            rating is unsatisfactory if one rating factor is unsatisfactory and more than
                            two rating factors are conditional or if at least two rating factors are
                            unsatisfactory.

                            A motor carrier that receives an unsatisfactory or conditional rating may
                            appeal its rating on either factual or procedural grounds within 90 days
                            after the rating is received. Of about 3,940 motor carriers that received
                            either a conditional or unsatisfactory rating in fiscal year 1996, only 17
                            appealed their rating within 90 days. After reviewing each case, OMC
                            (1) upgraded the ratings of eight carriers, primarily on the basis of actions
                            taken by the carrier; (2) denied the appeal of eight carriers; and (3) did not
                            act on one appeal because a state had conducted the compliance review
                            and had not entered the results into OMC’s Safetynet database.

                            Alternatively, a carrier may request a new safety fitness rating on the basis
                            of operational improvements made. This request usually results in a new
                            compliance review. Officials in two OMC regional offices told us that a
                            request for a change of a carrier’s rating is relatively rare and that their
                            regional offices typically try to schedule a follow-up visit within 3 months.
                            Another OMC official added that a follow-up compliance review usually
                            results in an upgraded rating because a carrier would not request one
                            unless previously cited violations had been addressed.


OMC Plans to Reexamine      In March 1997, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled
Its Criteria for Rating     that OMC had failed to carry out its statutory obligation to promulgate a
Safety Fitness              regulation that establishes criteria for determining whether a carrier has
                            complied with the safety fitness requirements of the Motor Carrier Safety




                            Page 19                                   GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
              B-277481




              Act of 1984.18 While this decision applied only to the safety fitness rating of
              a single carrier, OMC has temporarily stopped issuing ratings. To address
              the court’s concerns, OMC published a notice of proposed rule making in
              the May 1997 Federal Register that would establish a safety fitness rating
              methodology, including six rating factors, substantially similar to the
              methodology that OMC had used to rate motor carriers. (OMC also published
              an interim final rule that applies only to hazardous materials and
              passenger carriers.) The notice of proposed rule making would revise the
              accident rating factor by (1) eliminating the determination of whether
              each recordable accident was preventable by the motor carrier or the
              driver, (2) increasing the threshold for an unsatisfactory rating from 1
              accident to 1.6 accidents per million miles driven, and (3) eliminating the
              satisfactory and conditional ratings.

              The notice of proposed rule making states that the safety fitness rating
              methodology is a short-term approach needed to address the court of
              appeals’ decision. The notice further states that, in the longer term, OMC
              plans to shift from using compliance reviews to performance-based
              criteria for determining whether motor carriers are fit to conduct
              commercial vehicle operations safely in interstate commerce. OMC believes
              that SafeStat can be successfully employed to identify the worst
              performing carriers within the next 2 years. As a first step in this
              transition, OMC plans to publish an advance notice of proposed rule making
              later this year to solicit public comments on alternative approaches for
              rating the safety fitness of commercial motor carriers.


              OMC’s SCE  list and other criteria for selecting motor carriers for compliance
Conclusions   reviews did not effectively target commercial motor carriers with poor
              safety performance. While OMC’s new SafeStat system is designed to better
              identify problem carriers by using on-the-road performance data, it
              depends upon the states to submit complete, accurate, and timely data on
              recordable accidents and the results of roadside inspections and
              compliance reviews. However, some states currently lack adequate data,
              particularly for accidents. Substantial gaps in the reported data can change
              a carrier’s score, thus affecting SafeStat’s reliability. In addition, 14 states
              do not use the Inspection Selection System for selecting vehicles for
              roadside inspections, and small motor carriers may get no ranking or a
              biased ranking by SafeStat if few roadside inspections are performed on
              their vehicles and drivers.



              18
                MST Express v. Department of Transportation, 108 F.3d 401 (D.C. Cir. 1997).



              Page 20                                              GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
                     B-277481




                     We agree in concept with OMC’s announced plan to use performance-based
                     data for rating the safety fitness of commercial motor carriers. However,
                     for this approach to succeed, the states must provide substantially
                     complete, accurate, and timely data to Safetynet. While OMC has taken
                     steps to improve states’ data reporting by, for example, introducing the
                     Inspection Selection System and providing funding for the states to
                     purchase laptop computers to directly upload roadside inspection results,
                     many states have not provided complete and timely data that meet OMC’s
                     reporting requirements.


                     To better ensure that the safety fitness ratings of commercial motor
Recommendations      carriers accurately reflect their on-the-road performance, we recommend
                     that the Secretary of Transportation (1) identify the barriers that prevent
                     the states from providing complete and timely data and work with the
                     states to develop a strategy for addressing each barrier and (2) develop
                     alternative approaches to SafeStat, such as consulting with state and local
                     law enforcement officials to identify problem motor carriers, in the states
                     that have inadequate data.


                     We provided the Department of Transportation with a draft of this report
Agency Comments      for review and comment. We met with officials in the Office of Motor
and Our Evaluation   Carriers, including the Chief, Safety and Hazardous Materials Division; the
                     Chief, Information Division; and OMC’s National Field Coordinator, as well
                     as with a senior analyst in the Office of the Secretary. DOT agreed with the
                     overall message of the report, stating that it was fair and accurate, and
                     agreed with our recommendation that it work with the states to develop a
                     strategy for addressing barriers that prevent the states from providing
                     complete and timely data. However, DOT disagreed with our
                     recommendation that it develop alternative approaches to SafeStat in the
                     states that have inadequate data, stating that (1) its resources would be
                     better spent by working with the states to improve their data and
                     (2) developing separate processes for different states or individual
                     populations of carriers would not be practical or an effective use of
                     resources because an interstate carrier’s performance is influenced by
                     multiple states.

                     We continue to believe that DOT needs to develop alternative approaches
                     for the states that have inadequate data, especially on recordable
                     accidents, because of the importance of improving the safety fitness of
                     motor carriers with poor safety records. An alternative approach need not



                     Page 21                                 GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
              B-277481




              be labor intensive; for example, it could involve asking a state to identify
              for compliance reviews any motor carrier whose drivers or vehicles have
              multiple out-of-service violations. Alternatively, OMC could modify SafeStat
              for the states that have inadequate accident data to rank carriers only on
              the basis of the other three SEAs that use roadside inspection, compliance
              review, and enforcement case results. DOT also provided clarifying
              information to improve the report’s technical accuracy, which we
              incorporated as appropriate.


              To obtain the information in this report, we interviewed officials from OMC,
Scope and     the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, the Commercial
Methodology   Vehicle Safety Alliance, and the American Trucking Associations and the
              MCSAP coordinators for Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois,
              Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon,
              Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. We selected these 16 states to
              provide geographical diversity, a mix of large and small states, and a mix
              in the number of compliance reviews that each state performed in fiscal
              year 1996. We also (1) made site visits to three of these states that have
              strong programs for collecting and using commercial vehicle accident,
              inspection, and enforcement data; (2) interviewed officials in each of the
              five states that participated in the SafeStat pilot program; and
              (3) accompanied OMC investigators as they performed a compliance
              review.

              While we did not verify the accuracy of the data that the states submitted
              to OMC’s Safetynet database, OMC reviews these data for accuracy and
              completeness before they are entered into its motor carrier management
              information system, which OMC has used to generate its SCE and SafeStat
              rankings. We also did not examine the safety performance of
              longer-combination vehicles, which are limited by federal law to
              designated highways in 20 states. DOT does not plan to propose any
              revisions to the current federal restrictions until it completes an ongoing
              major study on these trucks. We conducted our review from April through
              September 1997 in accordance with generally accepted government
              auditing standards.


              As arranged with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents
              earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days after the
              date of this letter. At that time, we will send copies of the report to
              congressional committees and subcommittees responsible for commercial



              Page 22                                  GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
B-277481




motor vehicle safety issues; the Secretary of Transportation; the Director,
Office of Management and Budget; and other interested parties. We will
make copies available to others upon request.

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please contact me
at (202) 512-3650. Major contributors to this report are Jason Bromberg,
Richard Cheston, and James Ratzenberger.

Sincerely yours,




Phyllis F. Scheinberg
Associate Director,
  Transportation Issues




Page 23                                 GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
Contents



Letter                                                                                              1


Appendix I                                                                                         26

Commercial Vehicle
Safety Data
Appendix II                                                                                        31

Selective Compliance
and Enforcement
Criteria for Selecting
Motor Carriers for a
Compliance Review
Appendix III                                                                                       34

SafeStat Criteria for
Selecting Motor
Carriers for a
Compliance Review
Appendix IV                                                                                        35
                         Oregon: Accident Reporting                                                35
Selected State           Utah: Reducing Fatigue-Related Accidents                                  36
Initiatives to Improve   Connecticut: Real-Time Wireless Communication                             36
the Collection and
Use of Safety Data
Appendix V                                                                                         38

Compliance Review
Rating Factors
Tables                   Table 1: Source of Compliance Reviews in Fiscal Year 1996                 11
                         Table 2: SafeStat Categories for Carriers Ranked Among the                13
                           Worst 25 Percent of All Carriers in at Least One SEA




                         Page 24                               GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
          Contents




          Table I.1: Fatal Accidents Involving Large Trucks, 1983 Through           26
            1996
          Table I.2: Roadside Inspections of Commercial Motor Vehicles              27
            Performed by Federal and State Inspectors, Fiscal Years 1983
            Through 1996
          Table I.3: Roadside Inspections of Commercial Motor Vehicles              27
            Performed by Each State, Fiscal Year 1996
          Table I.4: Compliance Reviews of Commercial Motor Carriers                29
            Performed by Federal and State Investigators, Fiscal Years 1989
            Through 1996
          Table I.5: Federal MCSAP Grants to the States by Category, Fiscal         30
            Year 1996
          Table V.1: Recordable, Preventable Accident-Rating Scale                  38
          Table V.2: Compliance Review Ratings by Factor, Fiscal Year               38
            1996
          Table V.3: Violations of Critical Hours-of-Service Regulations            39
            Cited in Compliance Reviews, Fiscal Year 1996
          Table V.4: Federal and State Compliance Review Ratings of                 39
            Commercial Motor Carriers’ Operations by State, Fiscal Year
            1996

Figures   Figure 1: Rate of Fatal Accidents Involving Large Trucks, 1983             5
            Through 1995
          Figure 2: Compliance Reviews Performed by Each State, Fiscal               8
            Year 1996




          Abbreviations

          DOT        Department of Transportation
          GAO        General Accounting Office
          ISS        Inspection Selection System
          MCSAP      Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program
          OMC        Office of Motor Carriers
          SCE        Selective Compliance and Enforcement
          SEA        Safety Evaluation Area


          Page 25                               GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
Appendix I

Commercial Vehicle Safety Data


Table I.1: Fatal Accidents Involving
Large Trucks, 1983 Through 1996        Vehicle miles traveled per 100 million miles
                                                                                    Large trucks
                                                                                      involved in     Vehicle miles       Fatal accident
                                       Year                          Fatalities   fatal accidents          traveled                 ratea
                                       1983                              5,491               4,877            1,131.6                  4.3
                                       1984                              5,640               5,124            1,239.3                  4.1
                                       1985                              5,734               5,153            1,265.8                  4.1
                                       1986                              5,579               5,097            1,301.4                  3.9
                                       1987                              5,598               5,108            1,356.0                  3.8
                                       1988                              5,679               5,241            1,414.0                  3.7
                                       1989                              5,490               4,984            1,483.2                  3.4
                                       1990                              5,272               4,776            1,498.1                  3.2
                                       1991                              4,821               4,347            1,507.3                  2.9
                                       1992                              4,462               4,035            1,528.0                  2.6
                                       1993                              4,856               4,328            1,599.0                  2.7
                                       1994                              5,144               4,644            1,704.2                  2.7
                                       1995                              4,918               4,472            1,781.6                  2.5
                                                                                                                      b                  b
                                       1996                              5,126               4,740
                                       Note: Large trucks accounted for 99 percent of the fatal accidents involving commercial motor
                                       vehicles in 1995.
                                       a
                                       Fatal accidents per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
                                       b
                                           Data are not available.

                                       Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.




                                       Page 26                                              GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
                                          Appendix I
                                          Commercial Vehicle Safety Data




Table I.2: Roadside Inspections of
Commercial Motor Vehicles Performed                                                                         State
by Federal and State Inspectors, Fiscal   Fiscal year            Federal inspections                 inspectionsa         Total inspections
Years 1983 Through 1996                   1983                                   24,721                            0                    24,721
                                          1984                                   18,966                    159,294                    178,260
                                          1985                                   16,046                    374,885                    390,931
                                          1986                                   10,027                    559,300                    569,327
                                          1987                                       910                 1,003,794                  1,004,704
                                          1988                                       238                 1,254,076                  1,254,314
                                          1989                                      2,357                1,302,453                  1,304,810
                                          1990                                      4,376                1,601,230                  1,605,606
                                          1991                                      2,321                1,574,188                  1,576,509
                                          1992                                      1,066                1,615,668                  1,616,734
                                          1993                                      2,864                1,946,833                  1,949,697
                                          1994                                      2,965                1,974,232                  1,977,197
                                          1995                                       726                 1,840,266                  1,840,992
                                          1996                                   10,987b                 2,073,666                  2,084,653
                                          a
                                           State totals may exclude inspections of intrastate carriers or inspections not funded by the Motor
                                          Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) and not centrally reported. For example, Missouri did
                                          not report inspections of intrastate carriers to Safetynet before March 1997. Similarly, California
                                          reported only 32,000 of 400,000 roadside inspections in fiscal year 1989.
                                          b
                                           Federal inspections increased in fiscal year 1996 because the Office of Motor Carriers (OMC)
                                          temporarily assigned personnel to help states inspect commercial vehicles entering the United
                                          States from Mexico as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

                                          Source: OMC.



Table I.3: Roadside Inspections of
Commercial Motor Vehicles Performed                                                                       Out-of-service
by Each State, Fiscal Year 1996                                         Level 1               Total              rate for Out-of-service
                                          State                     inspections         inspections            vehicles rate for drivers
                                          Alabama                           2,359              19,713                  17.0                 6.4
                                          Alaska                              640               1,636                  30.1                 4.5
                                          Arizona                           6,623              34,365                  19.8                 9.2
                                          Arkansas                        12,306               38,037                  14.5               16.3
                                          California                     325,345             356,423                   25.0                 3.6
                                          Colorado                        23,065               46,616                  18.5                 6.4
                                          Connecticut                       5,407              15,546                  27.8               13.1
                                          Delaware                          1,435               3,109                  26.1               11.4
                                          Florida                         27,618               67,602                  25.8                 8.8
                                          Georgia                         10,174               32,870                  23.0                 8.0
                                          Hawaii                            6,404               7,815                  16.1                 1.8
                                                                                                                                  (continued)



                                          Page 27                                              GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
Appendix I
Commercial Vehicle Safety Data




                                                     Out-of-service
                          Level 1            Total          rate for Out-of-service
State                 inspections      inspections        vehicles rate for drivers
Idaho                        3,089           6,449            23.3             13.5
Illinois                    13,878         97,791             11.9              4.6
Indiana                     25,559         80,410             16.5              6.8
Iowa                        15,656         51,071             17.7             11.1
Kansas                       3,634         23,338             18.7             12.7
Kentucky                    62,985         77,159             20.5              8.6
Louisiana                   16,595         39,413             20.3             11.9
Maine                        4,245           5,043            31.3             13.9
Maryland                    25,496         91,760             14.4              6.2
Massachusetts               13,923         25,562             25.4              5.0
Michigan                    10,001         49,486             11.9              3.3
Minnesota                   13,268         27,250             23.1              9.8
Mississippi                 14,449         19,747             24.9              8.9
Missouri                    26,885         63,504             27.9             10.0
Montana                      7,470         26,916              8.6              8.3
Nebraska                     5,942         22,454             11.3             13.4
Nevada                       3,184         15,249             20.3              7.1
New Hampshire                1,475         11,065             12.4              6.4
New Jersey                  20,098         55,536             21.6              2.7
New Mexico                   7,610         24,685             21.0             15.5
New York                    30,823         37,839             32.2             11.4
North Carolina              16,831         39,527             19.8              6.0
North Dakota                 2,721         15,231              7.3              9.0
Ohio                        21,721         59,981             29.1             11.0
Oklahoma                     3,165         10,461             25.1              5.7
Oregon                      15,167         26,170             34.9             10.7
Pennsylvania                15,807         39,718             25.8              7.7
Rhode Island                 2,274           5,443            14.7              7.5
South Carolina               8,192         32,697             20.9              6.8
South Dakota                     633       14,373              3.3             11.2
Tennessee                   17,676         63,402             17.8              9.2
Texas                       19,872         82,056             29.4             13.7
Utah                         8,251         15,065             24.7              8.5
Vermont                      1,737           4,367            19.0             12.4
Virginia                    15,438         30,717             22.7              7.3
Washington                  27,963         81,250             17.5              8.8
West Virginia                8,227         14,511             23.1              8.5
                                                                        (continued)


Page 28                                    GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
                                      Appendix I
                                      Commercial Vehicle Safety Data




                                                                                                    Out-of-service
                                                                   Level 1               Total             rate for Out-of-service
                                      State                    inspections         inspections           vehicles rate for drivers
                                      Wisconsin                       10,791              29,806                23.0               10.4
                                      Wyoming                          2,542              13,650                  9.5              18.1
                                      American Samoa                   2,396                2,899               26.5                2.7
                                      District of
                                      Columbia                           964                3,505               11.7                0.9
                                      Guam                             7,258                9,908               24.1                 0
                                      Northern Mariana
                                      Islands                            372                 457                    0                0
                                      Puerto Rico                        535                3,013               29.0                3.4
                                      Total                         958,174           2,073,666                 21.0                7.8

                                      Source: OMC’s MCSAP Quarterly Report.



Table I.4: Compliance Reviews of
Commercial Motor Carriers Performed                                             Federal                   State                   Total
by Federal and State Investigators,                                          compliance             compliance              compliance
Fiscal Years 1989 Through 1996        Fiscal year                               reviews                reviews                 reviews
                                      1989                                          6,211                       5                6,216
                                      1990                                          6,764                      87                6,851
                                      1991                                          8,958                     142                9,100
                                      1992                                          7,733                     225                7,958
                                      1993                                          7,342                     431                7,733
                                      1994                                          6,924                  1,258                 8,182
                                      1995                                          5,396                  3,857                 9,253
                                      1996                                          5,241                  3,711                 8,952
                                      Note: Excludes safety reviews, which OMC eliminated at the end of fiscal year 1994.

                                      Source: OMC.




                                      Page 29                                             GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
                                         Appendix I
                                         Commercial Vehicle Safety Data




Table I.5: Federal MCSAP Grants to the
States by Category, Fiscal Year 1996     Dollars in thousands
                                         Activity                                                                                           Funding
                                         Basic MCSAP grant                                                                                  $53,968
                                         Traffic enforcement                                                                                  6,900
                                         Hazardous materials training                                                                         1,500
                                         Secondary grantsa                                                                                    1,701
                                                                 b
                                         50 percent holding                                                                                  (1,499)
                                         National Governors’ Association data elements for accident
                                         reporting                                                                                            1,403
                                         Drug interdiction assistance program                                                                   464
                                         Research and development                                                                             1,042
                                         Covert activities                                                                                    1,062
                                         Public education                                                                                       850
                                         Uniformity grantsc                                                                                   3,097
                                         North American Free Trade Agreement implementation
                                         assistance                                                                                           1,067
                                                             d
                                         Incentive grants                                                                                     1,036
                                         Reallocation                                                                                         1,517
                                         Special grants                                                                                       2,483
                                         Total                                                                                              $76,592
                                         a
                                          Supplementary funding designed to encourage states with mature safety programs to further
                                         enlarge their programs. Funding was phased out in fiscal year 1997.
                                         b
                                          States whose intrastate regulations are incompatible with federal regulations are eligible to
                                         receive only 50 percent of their basic formula allocation.
                                         c
                                          Funding for participation in the international registration plan and the international fuel tax
                                         agreement.
                                         d
                                          Supplemental funding derived from the 50-percent holding account for states with
                                         comprehensive motor carrier safety programs.

                                         Source: OMC.




                                         Page 30                                                 GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
Appendix II

Selective Compliance and Enforcement
Criteria for Selecting Motor Carriers for a
Compliance Review
                   Commodity transported (1 to 8 points):

               •   8 points for a passenger carrier
               •   5 points for hazardous materials in a tank
               •   2 points for hazardous materials in a package
               •   1 point for everything else

                   Annual carrier mileage (1 to 4 points):

               •   4 points for at least 5 million miles
               •   3 points for from 1 million to 4,999,999 miles
               •   2 points for from 150,000 to 999,999 miles
               •   1 point for less than 150,000 miles

                   If mileage is unavailable, then a driver census would be used

               •   4 points for at least 72 drivers
               •   3 points for from 16 to 71 drivers
               •   2 points for from 6 to 15 drivers
               •   1 point for from 1 to 5 drivers

                   If mileage and a driver census are unavailable, then the number of power
                   units (for semi-trailer trucks, the tractor unit that includes the engine)
                   would be used

               •   4 points for at least 72 power units
               •   3 points for from 16 to 71 power units
               •   2 points for from 6 to 15 power units
               •   1 point for from 1 to 5 power units
               •   Neutral value if 0, blank, or unknown

                   Months since last safety fitness rating (0 to 4 points):

               •   4 points for more than 36 months
               •   3 points for from 25 to 36 months
               •   2 points for from 13 to 24 months
               •   1 point for from 7 to 12 months
               •   0 points for from 0 to 6 months
               •   2 points for an unrated carrier




                   Page 31                                   GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
    Appendix II
    Selective Compliance and Enforcement
    Criteria for Selecting Motor Carriers for a
    Compliance Review




    Vehicle out-of-service rate (1 to 5 points):

•   5 points for an out-of-service rate of at least 40 percent
•   4 points for an out-of-service rate from 33.34 to 39.99 percent
•   3 points for an out-of-service rate from 25 to 33.33 percent
•   2 points for an out-of-service rate from 16.67 to 24.99 percent
•   1 point for an out-of-service rate of from 0 to 16.66 percent

    Driver out-of-service rate (2 to 10 points):

•   10 points for an out-of-service rate of at least 15 percent
•   8 points for an out-of-service rate from 10 to 14.99 percent
•   6 points for an out-of-service rate from 7 to 9.99 percent
•   4 points for an out-of-service rate from 3.25 to 6.99 percent
•   2 points for an out-of-service rate of from 0 to 3.24 percent

    Preventable, recordable accident rate (1 to 5 points):

•   5 points for an accident rate of at least 1.0
•   4 points for an accident rate from 0.67 to 0.99
•   3 points for an accident rate from 0.34 to 0.66
•   2 points for an accident rate from 0.01 to 0.33
•   1 point for an accident rate of 0
•   Neutral value for a blank or missing accident rate

    Overall safety fitness rating (1 to 5 points):

•   5 points for an unsatisfactory rating
•   3 points for a conditional rating
•   1 point for a satisfactory rating
•   Neutral value for an unrated carrier

    The Selective Compliance and Enforcement (SCE) selection formula
    removes a neutral value for a factor from consideration because of a lack
    of data. To adjust for neutral values, the selection formula multiplies the
    carrier’s SCE score by seven (the total number of factors) and divides by
    the number of factors for which data are available. A carrier’s final SCE
    score is the total of its scores for the seven factors.

    The SCE list used (1) inspections conducted within the previous 18 months
    and (2) accident rates calculated during a compliance review within the
    previous 2 years. OMC required that the out-of-service rates for the vehicle



    Page 32                                       GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
Appendix II
Selective Compliance and Enforcement
Criteria for Selecting Motor Carriers for a
Compliance Review




and driver be calculated on the basis of at least 10 valid inspections for
trucks and 5 valid inspections for passenger vehicles.




Page 33                                       GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
Appendix III

SafeStat Criteria for Selecting Motor
Carriers for a Compliance Review

                Accident Safety Evaluation Area (SEA)

                1. Motor carriers’ accidents that states report to OMC’s Safetynet database.
                (The accident must involve a fatality, an injury, or a vehicle that was
                towed away from the scene.)

                2. Recordable, preventable accident rate from compliance reviews.

                Driver SEA

                1. Out-of-service violations for drivers from roadside inspections.

                2. Violations of driver-related critical and acute regulations from
                compliance reviews.

                Vehicle SEA

                1. Out-of-service violations for vehicles from roadside inspections.

                2. Violations of vehicle-related critical and acute regulations from
                compliance reviews.

                Safety management SEA

                1. Closed enforcement cases. (An enforcement case is the result of one or
                more major violations discovered by a safety investigator during a
                compliance review.)

                2. Out-of-service violations for hazardous materials from roadside
                inspections.

                3. Violations of safety management-related critical and acute regulations
                from compliance reviews.

                SafeStat time weights data by (1) giving more weight to events that
                occurred during the past year than to events that are older and (2) using
                only data that are less than 30 months old. SafeStat also weights accident
                data and compliance review violations by the severity of the event. For
                example, a fatal accident is given more weight than an accident involving a
                vehicle that was towed from the scene.




                Page 34                                 GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
Appendix IV

Selected State Initiatives to Improve the
Collection and Use of Safety Data

                   States vary widely in the quality and completeness of their commercial
                   vehicle safety data and in the ways they make use of these data in their
                   commercial vehicle safety programs. Several states have initiated
                   programs to improve their collection and use of safety data for
                   commercial vehicles. Below are three state initiatives to develop
                   comprehensive data on accidents involving commercial motor vehicles,
                   targeting high-accident corridors for increased enforcement, and using
                   real-time wireless communications to provide state police with electronic
                   access to Safetynet data.


                   The Motor Carrier Transportation Branch, within Oregon’s Department of
Oregon: Accident   Transportation (DOT) has a system for gathering data on commercial
Reporting          vehicle accidents that differs from that of many other states. In particular,
                   the branch employs an experienced accident analyst whose sole job is to
                   collect and check accident information, look for inconsistencies in the
                   data, and follow up with the police or the carrier to make the accident
                   report as accurate and complete as possible. The accident analyst also
                   provides information that helps decide whether the branch should get
                   involved in the investigation of a particular accident.

                   Oregon uses several sources to acquire information on accidents involving
                   commercial vehicles, the most important of which is the police accident
                   report. But unlike many states, Oregon also requires motor carriers to file
                   a report within 30 days if one of their vehicles is involved in a serious
                   accident. The carrier’s report provides more information than the police
                   report about the driver and such things as the configuration of the vehicle
                   and its load. In about one in six cases, the carrier’s report is the only
                   source of information about an accident because local police departments
                   do not always file an accident report.

                   Unlike many states, Oregon makes an effort to determine the cause of a
                   commercial vehicle accident and who was at fault. Oregon’s DOT uses a list
                   of about 50 different reasons (lane change, brake failure, etc.) that can be
                   identified as the primary or secondary cause of an accident. While
                   Safetynet does not include data on cause and fault, Oregon uses this
                   information to develop its performance-based standards and strategies.
                   For example, the information allows Oregon’s DOT to map out the location
                   of accidents, on the basis of their cause, showing problem spots for
                   accidents believed to be caused by such things as excessive speed or
                   fatigue. Oregon’s DOT can then respond to patterns by, for example,
                   focusing its resources on traffic enforcement efforts on speed-problem



                   Page 35                                 GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
                     Appendix IV
                     Selected State Initiatives to Improve the
                     Collection and Use of Safety Data




                     corridors or targeting hours-of-service violations where fatigue is a
                     problem.


                     Utah, like other states, is adopting performance-based standards to
Utah: Reducing       implement its truck safety programs. In 1996, Utah’s DOT used its basic
Fatigue-Related      MCSAP grant to participate in a pilot project to address a 78-percent

Accidents            increase in truck accidents on a stretch of Interstate Route 80 west of Salt
                     Lake City that is very straight, flat, and monotonous. Utah’s DOT conducted
                     an analysis of these accidents in relation to the time of day, location,
                     number of vehicles involved, and other elements that found that a
                     disproportionate number of the accidents were single-vehicle events, such
                     as a truck’s running off the road, suggesting that the accidents were
                     related to driver fatigue.

                     Through the pilot, Utah has targeted resources on the driver-fatigue
                     problem on this corridor. The truck unit of the state police has increased
                     level 3 (driver) inspections at targeted locations, focusing on
                     hours-of-service violations. Where problems were found, Utah’s DOT
                     focused on the carrier’s operations by looking at the carrier’s collective
                     driver records and conducting a full compliance review, if warranted. In
                     addition, Utah’s DOT initiated educational activities to reduce the number
                     of sleep-related crashes, such as disseminating brochures outlining the
                     warning signs of fatigue and informational packets for drivers and carriers
                     at ports of entry, during compliance reviews, and at various driver-related
                     events.


                     The Commercial Vehicle Safety Division, within the Connecticut
Connecticut:         Department of Motor Vehicles, has begun to implement a real-time
Real-Time Wireless   wireless communication system that links an inspector performing a truck
Communication        inspection at a roadside stop with state and national motor carrier
                     information systems. The system, known as the cellular digital package
                     data system, provides inspectors with the ability to send and receive
                     real-time data from the ASPEN vehicle inspection system, OMC’s commercial
                     driver license information system, and other related commercial vehicle
                     and enforcement databases. The system substantially increases both the
                     quantity and currency of the data available to an inspector at a roadside
                     stop about a vehicle, its driver, and the motor carrier.

                     Several police departments in Connecticut and nationwide already use this
                     basic technology, but Connecticut is using a special MCSAP research and



                     Page 36                                     GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
Appendix IV
Selected State Initiatives to Improve the
Collection and Use of Safety Data




development grant to piggyback onto this existing technology to
incorporate ASPEN. The communications are double-encrypted before
going over the airwaves, since they contain sensitive information. The
operating costs are much less than those for a cellular telephone, since the
system sends out its data in short bursts, rather than through a
continuously open telephone line.

By entering a truck’s U.S. DOT number at a roadside stop, an inspector will
be able to obtain a motor carrier’s complete inspection history and the
results of compliance reviews. Having more up-to-date information will
allow the inspector to make a better determination about whether to
inspect the truck. In addition, having more complete information allows
the inspector to focus the inspection more effectively; if the database
shows a history of brake violations, for example, the inspection may focus
more on the vehicle’s brakes. The inspector also can use the cellular
system to input the data collected during an inspection into the system
immediately, rather than have it entered at some future date, which
facilitates data processing and makes the databases more current.




Page 37                                     GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
Appendix V

Compliance Review Rating Factors


Table V.1: Recordable, Preventable
Accident-Rating Scale                                                                                               Accidents per million
                                                                                  Accidents per million           miles traveled for urban
                                       Rating                                           miles traveled                            carriersa
                                       Satisfactory                                          Less than 0.3                       Less than 0.3
                                       Conditional                                   Between 0.3 and 1.0                Between 0.3 and 2.0
                                       Unsatisfactory                                     Greater than 1.0                   Greater than 2.0
                                       Note: A recordable accident is one involving a commercial vehicle operating on a public road that
                                       results in a fatality, bodily injury that requires medical treatment, or a vehicle being towed from the
                                       accident scene. A preventable accident is one that could have been averted but for an act, or
                                       failure to act, by the motor carrier or driver.
                                       a
                                        An urban carrier is defined as one operating entirely within a radius of less than 100 air miles
                                       (normally in urban areas).



Table V.2: Compliance Review Ratings
by Factor, Fiscal Year 1996                                                                                                     Percentage
                                       Rating factor              Satisfactory          Conditional      Unsatisfactory       unsatisfactory
                                       Generala                           8,569                   272                   13                   0.1
                                       Driverb                            5,522                2,154                 1,178                 13.3
                                       Operationalc                       5,731                    45                3,078                 34.8
                                       Vehicled                           5,879                2,390                   584                   6.6
                                       Hazardous
                                       materialse                         2,518                   245                   33                   1.2
                                                  f
                                       Accident                           7,578                1,041                   234                   2.6
                                       a
                                        Assesses compliance with regulations for financial responsibility and general safety (49 C.F.R.
                                       parts 387 and 390).
                                       b
                                        Assesses compliance with regulations for the use and testing of controlled substances and
                                       alcohol, the commercial driver’s license, and drivers’ qualifications (49 C.F.R. parts 382, 383, and
                                       391).
                                       c
                                        Assesses compliance with regulations for motor vehicle driving and hours of service (49 C.F.R.
                                       parts 392 and 395).
                                       d
                                        Assesses compliance with regulations for vehicle parts and accessories and vehicles’
                                       inspection, repair, and maintenance (49 C.F.R. parts 393 and 396).
                                       e
                                        Assesses compliance with regulations for transporting hazardous materials (49 C.F.R. parts 397,
                                       171, 177, and 180).
                                       f
                                       Assesses a motor carrier’s recordable, preventable accident rate.

                                       Source: OMC.




                                       Page 38                                                GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
                                        Appendix V
                                        Compliance Review Rating Factors




Table V.3: Violations of Critical
Hours-Of-Service Regulations Cited in   Critical regulation                                                                    Total violations
Compliance Reviews, Fiscal Year 1996    Requiring or permitting driver to drive more than 10 hours.                                      3,322
                                        Requiring or permitting driver to drive after having been on
                                        duty 15 hours.                                                                                   1,955
                                        Requiring or permitting driver to drive after having been on
                                        duty more than (1) 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or (2) 70
                                        hours in 8 consecutive days.                                                                     3,311
                                        Failing to require driver to make a record of duty status.                                       3,042
                                        False reports of records of duty status.                                                         4,332
                                        Failing to require driver to forward, within 13 days of
                                        completion, the original of the record of duty status.                                             501
                                        Failing to preserve driver’s records of duty status and
                                        supporting documents for 6 months.                                                                 984
                                        Note: Excludes four critical hours-of-service regulations that apply only to Alaska.

                                        Source: OMC.



Table V.4: Federal and State
Compliance Review Ratings of                                              Percentage        Percentage         Percentage           Percentage
Commercial Motor Carriers’                                                       rated            rated               rated                not
Operations by State, Fiscal Year 1996   State                    Total    satisfactory      conditional      unsatisfactory              rated
                                        Alabama                   133                46                37                      17            1
                                        Alaska                      11               36                55                       0            9
                                        Arizona                     88               57                33                      10            0
                                        Arkansas                  124                48                40                      10            2
                                                   a
                                        California                185                48                29                      15            8
                                        Colorado                  193                49                38                      11            3
                                        Connecticut               111                38                26                      21           15
                                        Delaware                    43               44                44                      12            0
                                        Florida                     73               40                40                      19            1
                                        Georgia                   246                36                36                      28            0
                                        Hawaii                       1              100                 0                       0            0
                                        Idaho                       72               63                18                      19            0
                                        Illinois                  414                55                38                       7            0
                                        Indiana                   291                58                35                       7            0
                                        Iowa                        58               22                41                      36            0
                                        Kansas                      40               40                28                      33            0
                                        Kentucky                  408                39                36                      22            4
                                        Louisiana                 126                51                46                       3            0
                                        Maine                       24               29                42                      29            0
                                        Maryland                  161                49                30                      20            0
                                                                                                                                    (continued)


                                        Page 39                                               GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
Appendix V
Compliance Review Rating Factors




                            Percentage     Percentage      Percentage     Percentage
                                   rated         rated            rated          not
State               Total   satisfactory   conditional   unsatisfactory        rated
Massachusetts         197            59            31                8             2
Michigan              426            62            27                7             4
Minnesota             658            65            27                6             3
Mississippi           107            23            51               25             0
Missouri              416            49            36               14             0
Montana                43            44            44               12             0
Nebraska               68            41            43               16             0
Nevada                 78            54            32                6             8
New
Hampshire               3             0            33               67             0
New Jersey            256            56            33               10             1
New Mexico            112            64            22               11             3
New York              230            50            33               16             1
North
Carolina              139            40            45               14             1
North
Dakota                 49            18            57               24             0
Ohio                  979            71            22                4             3
Oklahoma               92            39            50               11             0
Oregon                206            46            31               20             3
Pennsylvania          294            70            21               10             0
Rhode
Island                 50            62            22               14             2
South
Carolina               60            52            33               15             0
South
Dakota                 14            43            29               29             0
Tennessee             171            77            22                1             0
Texas                 307            50            36               10             4
Utah                   74            62            27                8             3
Vermont                12            58            25               17             0
Virginia              120            41            41               18             0
Washington            276            34            42               20             4
West
Virginia               84            65            25               10             0
Wisconsin             464            67            24                5             5
Wyoming                60            45            48                7             0
District of
Columbia                9            56            33               11             0
                                                                          (continued)



Page 40                                      GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
           Appendix V
           Compliance Review Rating Factors




                                           Percentage        Percentage        Percentage        Percentage
                                                  rated            rated              rated             not
           State                   Total   satisfactory      conditional     unsatisfactory           rated
           Puerto Rico                 3                0                0                   0            100
           Total                  8,952                54              32                  12              2

           Note: Totals exclude any compliance reviews of shippers, shippers’ terminals, and intrastate
           carriers, as well as 16-passenger vans and school buses.
           a
           California performed 14,785 terminal inspections during 1996.

           Source: OMC.




(348032)   Page 41                                             GAO/RCED-98-8 Commercial Motor Carriers
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