Audit Reports

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Improvements Needed in the Motor Carrier Safety Status Measurement System

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We issued an audit report on the Motor Carrier Safety Status Measurement System (SafeStat) —a database used to target truck and bus companies for safety inspections and enforcement activities—in response to a request Rep. Thomas E. Petri, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Highways and Transit Subcommittee. We found that the SafeStat model needs to be revalidated because of changes since the 1998 study supporting the model’s validity. We also found significant weaknesses in the SafeStat data reported by states and motor carriers and with FMCSA’s processes for correcting and disclosing data problems.

We recommended that FMCSA (1) revalidate the SafeStat model; (2) improve systems for correcting inaccurate data and tracking of corrective actions; (3) expand cautions on the Web regarding SafeStat’s use; and (4) establish a plan to improve and ensure the quality of SafeStat data. FMCSA agreed with our concerns for increasing data quality and cited improvements it has implemented or has under way to address our recommendations.