Requires contract carriers of passengers by motor vehicle to provide federal SafeStat results to potential customers.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the transportation law, in relation to requiring safety reports to potential customers of contract carriers of passengers by motor vehicle
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To require contract carriers of passengers by motor vehicle to provide and explain their most recent federal Safety Status Measurement System (SafeStat) scores before entering into a contract with a customer.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Amends Section 140 of the transportation law to require that no contract carrier of passengers by motor vehicle shall enter into a contract to provide services to any customer without first providing:
- a written copy of the carrier's three most recent SafeStat scores; and
- an explanation of how the score is calculated and what it means
JUSTIFICATION: Customers of charter bus companies must be able to rely on those companies to operate safely, but in many instances customers sign contracts without access to carriers' safety records.
According to a study by ESPN, the number of buses involved in traffic accidents has increased dramatically in recent years: in 2003, 8,555 buses were involved in such accidents nationwide, rising to 13,195 in 2007.
The United States Department of Transportation, through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, operates the Safety Status Measurement System (SafeStat), an automated analysis system that combines historical and current safety data to measure the relative safety fitness of interstate commercial motor carriers. SafeStat provides analysis and reports on carriers' performance in four analytic Safety Evaluation Areas (SEAs): Accident. Driver, Vehicle, and Safety Management. The four SEA values are then combined into an overall safety status assessment, known as a SafeStat score.
Carriers' SafeStat scores can be viewed at the FMCSA website. However, a large proportion of charter bus customers continue to do business with companies that have compiled substandard SafeStat ratings, though they might not choose to do so if they were provided with this information. These customers include organizations arranging trips for students, seniors, and other potentially vulnerable groups. For instance, the ESPN report found that "at least 85 Division I universities used
charter bus companies during 2007 and 2008 that have had one or more deficient federal safety scores."
While it is helpful to have SafeStat scores available at the FMCSA website, it is clear that many potential charter bus customers either do not visit the website or are unable to understand the reports posted there. This bill would require the motor vehicle carriers to provide their three most recent SafeStat scores, as well as an explanation of the SafeStat rating system, to all potential customers before any contract is signed. Carriers violating this requirement would be subject to penalties according to subdivision nine of this section, including a fine of not more than $5,000, and suspension of the registration of all motor vehicles operated by the carrier.
This legislation would ensure that all potential customers have direct access to critical information about the safety records of motor vehicle carriers, and it would provide additional incentive for carriers to improve their own safety ratings.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: S.7191/A.9238 - Passed Senate
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Act to take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1334 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 6, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. DILAN, DIAZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the transportation law, in relation to requiring safety reports to potential customers of contract carriers of passengers by motor vehicle THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 140 of the transportation law is amended by adding a new subdivision 10 to read as follows: 10. NO CONTRACT CARRIER OF PASSENGERS BY MOTOR VEHICLE, AS DEFINED BY SUBDIVISION NINE OF SECTION TWO OF THIS CHAPTER, SHALL ENTER INTO A CONTRACT TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR ANY CUSTOMER WITHOUT FIRST PROVIDING THAT CUSTOMER WITH: A. A COPY, IN WRITING, OF THE CONTRACT CARRIER'S THREE MOST RECENT FEDERAL SAFETY STATUS MEASUREMENT SYSTEM (SAFESTAT) SCORES; AND B. AN EXPLANATION OF HOW THE SCORE IS CALCULATED AND WHAT THE SCORE MEANS. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03016-01-1