The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced several new improvements to its Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) enforcement program that will enable it to more quickly identify and address high-risk truck and bus companies with compliance concerns.
The final CSA changes will provide FMCSA with more precise information when assessing a company’s over-the-road safety performance. The changes will be implemented in December 2012 and include:
• Changing the Cargo-Related BASIC (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category) to the Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance BASIC to better identify HM safety and compliance problems. Analysis shows that this change will identify more carriers with HM concerns (33.8% versus 29.1%). Carriers and law enforcement can view this new BASIC in December. FMCSA will conduct further monitoring before it is made public.
• Changing the Fatigued Driving BASIC to the more specific Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance BASIC to more accurately reflect violations in this area; and weighting HOS paper and electronic logbook violations equally.
• Clarifying definition of passenger carrier companies by:
1. Adding carriers that operate for-hire 9-15 passenger vehicles and 16-plus passenger vehicles;
2. Removing carriers operating only 1-8 passenger vehicles and private carriers operating 1-15 passenger vehicles such as limousines, vans and taxis.
• Strengthening the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC by including cargo/load securement violations from today's Cargo-Related BASIC.
• Including intermodal equipment violations that should be found during drivers’ pre-trip inspections.
• Removing 1 to 5 mph speeding violations to ensure citations are consistent with current speedometer regulations.
• Ensuring all recorded violations accurately reflect the inspection type (i.e., only driver violations will be recorded under driver inspections).
“CSA is raising the bar for truck and bus safety. Our preliminary data shows that fatalities involving commercial vehicles dropped 4.7% last year compared to 2010,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “Still, on average, nearly 4,000 people die in large truck and bus crashes each year. That is why we are implementing these important changes to make CSA even more effective.”
According to the agency, FMCSA provided a four-month preview period to ensure the public had multiple opportunities to review and comment on the proposed changes to CSA’s online Safety Measurement System. Overall, 14,000 carriers and 1,700 law enforcement personnel participated in the public preview.
The Federal Register Notice issued responds to the comments received as of July 30, 2012, regarding the preview of the updates to the system.