Monday, July 27, 2015

The FMCSA, Bank Robbery Division

The FMCSA is forging boldly ahead to tie CSA scores into carrier fitness ratings and making the ratings public to shippers and brokers.

The FMCSA is tough. Those CSA scores reflect any accident at all – whether you caused it or were just waiting at a traffic light and got rolled over by a rogue National Guard tank on its way to McDonald’s. “Independent research has demonstrated that a motor carrier’s involvement in a crash, regardless of their role in the crash, is a strong indicator of their future crash risk,” the FMCSA explains. And that’s that.

Hey wait a minute. Maybe we should put a tough outfit like the FMCSA in charge of reducing bank robberies. We might hear a phone conversation like this:

“Is this the FMCSA, Bank Robbery Division?”
“Yes it is, sir. What can we do for you?”
“Can you help me find a new bank? No banks will let me open an account.”
“Sorry, but we can’t tell banks what to do.”
“Yes, but your rating says I was in an Infidelity National Bank branch when it was robbed. Now all the banks consider me a risk.”
“Let me check that. What is your name?”
“Ed Psarchnk.”
“Hmm. Sure enough, Mr. Psarchnk, you were definitely at Infidelity National when it was robbed.”
“I was only there to deposit my paycheck!”
“That’s precisely the relevant fact, sir. You were there.”
“But I didn’t rob the bank!”
“We never said you did, sir.”
“Then why can’t I open a bank account? I’m running out of stuff to trade for rent and food!”
“The FMCSA doesn’t make those decisions, Mr. Psarchnk. The banks do.”
“And they think I attract bank robbers!”
“Well, your GPS records show you were only two blocks away when a Bank of First Refusal branch was robbed in 2013. You have a poor statistical record.”
“But I’m not a statistic!”
“I am not authorized to argue that point, sir.”
“And I’m not a bank robber!”
“Of course not, Mr. Psarchnk.”
“I saw the guy who robbed Infidelity! His mask fell off! It was Charlie Mamamia from up the block!”
“Please watch what you say, sir. Mr. Mamamia is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. That’s basic to our system of justice. Better to let a guilty bank robber go free than to put an innocent bank robber in prison.”
“I’ll bet Charlie still has a bank account!”
“Well, in fact he does, sir. But he’s in custody now and not a risk factor for the banking community.”
“But I am a risk?”
“We don’t make up the statistics, sir, and the statistics say you are.”
“Then how can I possibly change that?”
“That’s not our concern, sir. The FMCSA, Bank Robbery Division suggests you consider how you came to be at the wrong bank at the wrong time and adjust future actions accordingly. Meanwhile, the banking community is that one itty-bitty smidge safer.”