NTSB Questions the Effectiveness of FMCSA

A dustup between two federal agencies has arisen, as NTSB has recommended that DOT audit the FMCSA's oversight.

The National Transportation Safety Board's five members have sent a letter to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx recommending he open an audit of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, questioning the oversight processes used in several fatal crashes this past year, according to a press release from NTSB.

The investigation has been prompted by four commercial vehicle accidents during the past year that resulted in a total of 25 deaths and 83 injuries. According to NTSB, each accident showed evidence of safety deficiencies and raised questions about why FMCSA did not act upon correcting these apparent deficiencies until after the crashes occurred.

NTSB has expressed concern over whether or not compliance reviews are being done in a thorough and efficient manner. NTSB's chairman, Deborah Hersman, stated that although FMCSA always takes action after detrimental events occur, it does not have a strong track record of preventing accidents.

The four crashes referenced include one in Oregon in 2012, one in California in 2013, one in Kentucky in 2013, and one in Tennessee in 2013.

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