Thursday, August 4, 2011

Time for a little Q&A - CSA Style!

Did you know that the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) website has been launched for 3 years now?? And the CSA program was officially rolled out over 6 months ago now? Taking all this into account, we thought it would be a good time to go over some Q&A’s on the CSA. We have chosen the top three Q&As from the CSA website that we find most useful for drivers:

Q: How does the Safety Measurement System (SMS) handle crashes when motor carriers are not at fault?

A: The structure of the SMS does not automatically determine or consider crash accountability. Recordable crash reports that States submit to the FMCSA do not include an accountability determination. Therefore, motor carriers are identified for possible intervention based on recordable crashes without consideration of accountability. This approach is taken because data analysis has historically indicated that motor carriers who are involved in crashes, regardless of accountability, are likely to be involved in more future crashes that carriers who are not. Past crashes have become good predictors for future crashes.

Q: How does the SMS handle warning tickets for speeding?

A: The Unsafe Driving Basic of the CSA is currently calculated using all recorded moving (speeding) violations without regard to whether a citation was issued. Analysis have determined that there is a strong relationship between high scores in the Unsafe Driving BASIC and future crashes.

To address concerns in the industry, the FMCSA is considering the addition of a simple Yes/No field to indicate whether a citation was issued in conjunction with the recorded speeding violation. Furthermore, based upon industry concerns, the FMCSA is implementing modifications to the roadside inspection software that its field staff and State Partners use that will require roadside officers to designate the severity of speeding offenses recorded on roadside inspections. As an example, an enforcement officer will have to designate whether the recorded speeding violations was 1-5 MPH over the speed limit, 6-10 MPH over, etc. This will allow the FMCSA to assign less weight to less severe speeding violations.

Q: Why is there no driver rating? Why aren’t drivers more accountable?

A: The FMCSA does not use the SMS or any other system to assign formal safety ratings to individual drivers; however, the agency does acknowledge that holding drivers accountable for safe driving behavior is an important part of the safety compliance and enforcement process. Safety Investigators (SIs) systematically investigate drivers with glaring violations when investigating a motor carrier company. Additionally, these investigators use the Driver SMS, and internal safety assessment tool, to review drivers with strong patterns of non-compliance. Any violations that are not corrected may result in a Notice of Claim or a Notice of Violation for the driver.

Want to brush up on your CSA knowledge? Visit the CSA website for more info!!

Have any other questions you want answered? Leave a comment and we will work to provide an answer!!!

References: Accessed on Aug. 4, 2011.

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