CSA2010 Safety Measurement System

Definitions:

CSA = Comprehensive Safety Analysis

SMS = Safety Measurement System

BASIC = Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Categories

(CSA) 2010 is a major Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve the effectiveness of the Agency’s compliance and enforcement programs.  Its goal is to achieve a greater reduction in large truck and bus crashes, injuries, and fatalities, while maximizing the resources of FMCSA and its State partners.

There are four major elements to CSA 2010 – 1) measurement, 2) intervention, 3) safety evaluation, and information technology, 4) COMPASS.

1)  The measurement system – Will group the safety performance data of motor carriers and drivers into seven categories, called BASICs – Behavioral Analysis Safety Improvement Categories.  The seven BASICS are:

                         (1) Unsafe driving,

                         (2) Fatigued Driving,

                         (3) Driver Fitness,

                         (4) Controlled Substances/Alcohol,

                         (5) Vehicle Maintenance,

                         (6) Improper Loading/Cargo, and

                         (7) Crash Indicator.

The data would be scored and weighted based on its relationship to crash causation. Based on a carrier’s score within each BASIC, the measurement system would trigger when the Agency should begin to intervene with a motor carrier, and when its performance has reached the proposed “unfit” threshold.

2)      Intervention – Once the measurement system signals the need to intervene, CSA 2010 would draw upon a broad array of progressive interventions that are designed to advise the motor carrier or driver that their safety performance has come to the government’s attention.  These steps are meant to improve unsafe behavior early.

These include:

£ Warning letter

£ Targeted Roadside Inspection

£ On-Site Investigation – Focused Cooperative Safety Plan Notice of Violation Increasing   Severity On-Site Investigation

£ Comprehensive Notice of Claim/Settlement Agreement

3)  Safety Evaluation – Safety fitness determination would be based on performance data processed through the measurement system, and would not necessarily be tied to the current FMCSA compliance review.  Depending on the motor carrier’s BASIC scores, the safety fitness determination could be “continue to operate”, “marginal” (with ongoing intervention), or proposed “unfit”.  Each motor carrier or driver for which there is sufficient data would receive a safety fitness determination that would be updated every 30 days.

4)  Compass – CSA 2010 is closely aligned with COMPASS, an FMCSA –wide initiative that is leveraging new technology to transform the way that FMCSA does business.  By optimizing FMCSA business processes and improving the Agency’s IT functionality, COMPASS will help FMCSA and State enforcement personnel make better decisions, identify high-risk carriers and drivers more effectively, and apply a wider range of interventions to correct high-risk behavior early.

FMCSA hopes to have this program fully launched and functioning by the end of 2010.

What does CSA2010 mean for drivers?

CSA 2010 will provide enhanced tools for Safety Investigators to identify and address drivers with poor safety records as part of motor carrier investigations in order to increase driver accountability for safe driving behavior. So drivers need to perform or they could receive intervention from the DOT.

How is a company’s management involved?

The regulations state that all persons in contact with the drivers have influence. So management now knows their actions or inaction has a significant impact on a carrier’s safety rating. They can individually be held accountable, not just the CEO.

According to §390.3(e), all employees responsible for safety compliance must know and apply the regulations. In fact, during an investigation by the FMSCSA, all parties at the motor carrier responsible for FMCSA safety can be fined, and in some cases charged criminally. This has really happened to drivers, dispatchers, and owners.

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