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FROM THE HILL


Trucking Industry’s Top Ten ATRI’s 2012 industry survey results


BY REBECCA M. BREWSTER GuestWriter


Almost two years after nationwide


deployment of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA), it now ranks as the number one issue of concern for trucking industry stakeholders. The annual ranking of top industry issues is done each year by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) on behalf of the American Trucking Associations and the 50 State Trucking Associations. ATRI’s survey of over 4,000 industry stakeholders not only asks respondents to rank the priority of critical industry issues but also to identify and prioritize strategies to deal with each issue. CSA was ranked first, second or third


by a larger share of respondents than any other issue (37.7 percent) in the annual survey. Despite the fact that CSA was first implemented nationally by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in late 2010, uncertainty and dissatisfaction with the impacts of CSA remains a significant


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challenge for many in the trucking industry. While FMCSA has worked with the industry to address some of the issues surrounding CSA and its measurement of carrier and driver safety performance, challenges still remain. In particular, the lack of a process for determining crash accountability within CSA and the uncertain relationship between CSA scores in each of the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) and future truck crash risk are two areas where the trucking industry believes more work must be done by FMCSA. This increasing displeasure with CSA may be one reason for its number one ranking in 2012. The federal regulations that govern


commercial driverHours-of-Service (HOS) have been a top five issue in the annual survey since it began in 2005. This year the HOS rules maintained theirNo. 2 ranking from 2011, likely driven by FMCSA’s publishing of a new final rule in December 2011. The new rules changed several key provisions in theHOS including limits on the 34-hour restart and a requirement for a minimum


ISSUE 6, 2012 | www.mttrucking.org


30-minute break after 8 hours of driving. The HOS rules were first changed in 2004 and since then, the industry has seen proposed changes implemented, vacated by the courts and changed again.Given the significant operational modifications that the industry has undergone to comply with the multiple changes to theHOS rules and the anticipation of additional costly impacts from this latest round of changes, it is not surprising this issue continues to rank high. After three years as the number one


trucking industry concern, the state of the nation’s economy dropped two spots toNo. 3 in the 2012 survey. This drop is primarily the result of economic improvement and escalating concern over the impacts of CSA andHOS. Regardless of the drop in ranking, concern over the economy still remains high; it received more first place votes than any other issue (16.1 percent of first place votes) in the 2012 survey. The unsteady nature of the economic recovery clearly continues to weigh heavily on the minds of many in the industry. The continued difficulty in finding


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