The Minnesota Trucking Association (MTA) recently submitted comments in response to FMCSA’s Notice and Request for Comment regarding the appeal process for requests for data review.
The MTA supports a process to create a Federal Level Appeals Process for data review (Data Q). The current process leaves no alternative to appeal a violation beyond the state level, which causes frustration for our members.
While the MTA agrees that there needs to be a Federal Level Appeals Process, we feel there are additional areas within the Data Review Process that also need to be addressed. Those areas are:
The time in which it takes to get a DataQ resolved. There are times that it can take months to get a review on the initial DataQ. The MTA feels that a DataQ needs to be responded to on a timely basis. We feel that all DataQ’s should be responded to within one week. States need to be held accountable to this timeline.
CSA points are charged to carriers while a violation is in the DataQ process. While a violation is going through the DataQ process points should not be assessed to the carrier. Because of the length of time it can take the issuing officer to review a challenged violation, a carrier can have points hit their CSA results for months only to be taken off when the violation has been removed. Having points on a carrier's CSA score while a violation is in the DataQ process can negatively impact the carrier. This may include the reduced ability to obtain new business and being subject to an increased frequency of inspections.
Future expansion of approved scenarios that could be escalated to a Federal Level Appeal. When launching the Federal Level Appeal Process, the MTA believes it should be limited to the interpretation of regulations, policy or standards. However, we believe there should be a process to potentially expand the program to areas beyond the interpretation of regulations, policy or standards based on industry feedback.