Publius Cornelius Tacitus AD 56 – 117

Tacitus is considered to be one of the greatest Roman historians. He is known for the brevity and compactness of his prose, as well as for his penetrating insights into the psychology of politics.

I wonder what Tacitus would make of the DOT’s commercial motor vehicle inspection program?

I spent 327 hours stuck in airports this week, and passed the time examining data on DOT Inspections with violations from January 2011 – April 2014 (all data since CSA launched) and mapped where the bulk of the enforcement inspection activity is coming from by State and County, then compared that to clean inspections, also by State and County for the same time period.  Then another flight got cancelled leaving me overnight at O’Hare, so I added little animations that are fun to watch, have a look…

Inspections with Violations

This map shows all DOT Inspections with CSA violations by State from January 2011 through April 2014 expressed as a percentage of all inspections with violations.

Inspection percent

Watch the fun little animations as this progresses weekly, over three and a half years.

By State
By County

Clean Inspections

This map shows the breakdown of Clean Inspections by State (no violations found) from January 2011 through April 2014 expressed as a percentage of all clean inspections.

Clean percent

Animation links below.

By State
By County

So, you may ask, what does this mean to me Steve?  I find the ratios interesting.  For example, look at California who conducts 11.3% of all inspections and 22.1% of clean inspections.  Then compare that to Texas who writes 22.2% of all inspections, and only 7.9 % of clean inspections.  This is more evidence of the widely disparate treatment that enforcement gives to CSA.

As I have said 100 times, state’s will vary in their enforcement focus, and they probably should.  But the CSA methodology gives no weight or balance to these differences.  I’d sure like to see how this will be addressed in the coming Safety Fitness Determination Rule.