Research Project

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Identifying Carriers That Are Likely Spreading Violations Across More Than One Company


To take enforcement action against groups of carriers that are operating under common management to obscure practices of spreading violations across multiple carriers to avoid being detected as an unsafe carrier. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) requires the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to take this action.


Spreading of violations is particularly observed among motorcoach operators. There is a growing trend for groups of carriers to be sharing drivers and vehicles. This effectively spreads the violations of those drivers and vehicles among more than one motorcoach carrier, thus keeping all of them looking better from the perspective of the safety measurement system (SMS).


The goal of this project is to apply an analysis technique that clusters all of the violations of drivers and vehicles for all the carriers for whom they work. This technique both identifies sharing and greatly assists in overcoming the data shortage common in SMS analysis when dealing with individual carriers and inspections/crashes attributed explicitly to them by their U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number.


A list of high-risk carriers has been identified by applying the analysis techniques.  They correlate very highly with carriers that were identified by labor-intensive analysis done for the previous I-95 strike force. They also are highly correlated with the data obtained by the less predictable ad hoc information that a carrier might be high-risk.


September 2013 - Final report


FY 2012 - $149,499 


Completion is on target for September 30, 2013.

Project Lead

For more information contact David Goettee of FMCSA's Research Division at (202) 366-4097 or


Integrated Technology Solutions, Inc.

Updated: Tuesday, December 16, 2014