Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc. v. United States Department of Transportation

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

August 2, 2016

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc., also known as OOIDA; Kuehl Trucking, LLC, Petitioners,
v.
United States Department of Transportation; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; Anthony Foxx, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation; T. F. Scott Darling, III, Chief Counsel of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; United States of America, Respondents.

          Submitted: November 19, 2015

         Petition for Review of an Action of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

          Before COLLOTON, GRUENDER, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.

          COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.

         The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and one of its members, Kuehl Trucking, LLC, petition for review of regulatory guidance issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The guidance exempts from federal accident-reporting regulations certain accidents involving commercial motor vehicles known as attenuator trucks. Because petitioners have failed to identify a concrete and particularized injury that would give them standing to proceed, we dismiss the petition for lack of an Article III case or controversy.

         I.

         Congress has directed the Secretary of Transportation to "prescribe minimum safety standards for commercial motor vehicles" and to determine whether individual owners and operators are "fit to operate safely commercial motor vehicles." 49 U.S.C. §§ 31136(a), 31144(a)(1). In assessing owner-operator safety, the Secretary is instructed to consider, inter alia, an owner or operator's accident record. Id. § 31144(a)(1). The Secretary has delegated his authority to implement these safety standards to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency within the Department of Transportation. 49 C.F.R. §§ 1.86(a), 1.87(f). Regulations issued by the Administration must be promulgated under the informal rulemaking procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act. 49 U.S.C. § 31136(c) (incorporating 5 U.S.C. § 553).

         Exercising this delegated authority, the Administration has developed a comprehensive system for evaluating the safety fitness of commercial motor carriers. 49 C.F.R. § 385.1 et seq. Following an on-site examination of the carrier's operations, the Administration rates each carrier as "satisfactory, " "conditional, " or "unsatisfactory." Id. §§ 385.3, 385.9. Carriers that receive an unsatisfactory safety-fitness rating are prohibited from operating commercial motor vehicles. Id. § 385.13(a).

         In addition to assigning safety-fitness ratings, the Administration maintains the Carrier Safety Measurement System, a database of carrier safety-performance data. See Withdrawal of Proposed Improvements to the Motor Carrier Safety Status Measurement System (SafeStat) and Implementation of a New Carrier Safety Measurement System (CSMS), 75 Fed. Reg. 18, 256-02 (Apr. 9, 2010). The System scores carriers' performance in seven safety categories: unsafe driving, hours of service, driver fitness, drug or alcohol violations, vehicle maintenance, hazardous-materials handling, and crash history. The Administration uses scores generated by the System to identify high-risk carriers for on-site compliance reviews and other enforcement interventions, but these scores do not affect a carrier's safety-fitness ratings. Id. at 18, 257.

         The System defines a carrier's "Crash Indicator" measure to quantify "[h]istories or patterns of high crash involvement." A carrier's Crash Indicator has two components: a raw measure of the carrier's crash history and a ranking against comparable commercial carriers. A carrier's Crash Indicator measure is the number of accidents per vehicle, with adjustments made based on the severity and recency of accidents and the miles driven per vehicle.

         Each carrier is then placed into a safety-event group of comparable carriers. Safety-event groups are based on two factors. The first is whether the carrier is in the straight-truck or combination-truck segment. A straight truck has all of its axles attached to a single frame, while a combination or "combo" truck consists of two or more frames joined by couplings. A carrier is placed in the combination-truck segment if combination trucks constitute at least 70% of its fleet and in the straight-truck segment if more than 30% of its trucks are straight trucks. The second factor is how many accidents the carrier has sustained over the previous twenty-four months.

         Safety-event groups are defined as follows:

Safety-Event Group

Crashes

Combo

1 2-3

Combo

2 4-6

Combo

3 7-16

Combo

4 17-45

Combo

5 $ 46

Safety-Event Group

Crashes

Straight

1 2

Straight

2 3-4

Straight

3 5-8

Straight

4 9-26

Straight

5 > 27

         The Administration ranks the carriers within each safety-event group by their Crash Indicator measure. Carriers are ranked on a percentile basis in ascending order. This means that a carrier with a Crash Indicator ranking of 40 has a higher Crash Indicator measure than 40% of the carriers in its safety-event group. Carriers with fewer than two accidents within the last twenty-four months are not placed within any safety-event group. Any carrier that has been accident-free for the previous twelve months is removed from the rankings. Pet'rs' App. 31-34.

         Carriers with a Crash Indicator ranking greater than or equal to 65 are identified by the Administration for potential interventions, including warning letters, roadside inspections, investigations, and removal from service. Id. at 14; Frequently Asked Questions, Fed. Motor Carrier Safety Admin., https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/faqs. aspx?faqid=1561 (as visited July 28, 2016, and on file with clerk of court). A subset of a carrier's System data, including its number of accidents, is available on the agency's public website. See Safety ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.