Next year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will launch a new program aimed at making highways safer. The new system, based on updated and proactive procedures for monitoring and correcting safety concerns, is called The Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010). It will replace the automated analysis system known as SafeStat that is currently in place to measure interstate commercial motor carrier safety.
It’s hard to believe the FMCSA is capable of doing safety audits on only a marginal percentage of truck fleets -- two percent to be exact - but like any government agency these days, resources have been stretched thin over the years. The FMCSA’s resources have been strained even more so because of homeland security demands. This translates into only high-risk fleets getting the necessary care and attention, yet more and more carriers go into service each year requiring oversight.
The main intent of the new CSA 2010 program is to find flaws and defects before they become serious problems. The FMCSA describes CSA 2010 as a “proactive, data driven, performance-based national traffic safety initiative that will transform the way carriers, drivers and compliance and enforcement personnel approach their jobs.” No matter how it is described, big changes may be headed your way.
To more accurately and efficiently evaluate and fix carrier and driver safety issues, the new system will compile all on-road safety performance data -- roadside violations and crash data and so on -- and sort it into seven carrier-driver behavior categories, known as “Behavior Analysis & Safety Improvement Categories” (BASICs):
Fatigued Driving (Hours-of-Service)
Based on analysis of the data, if a carrier needs to make some changes, “corrective actions” including earlier notifications, off- and on-site investigations, and other follow-up measures like notice of violations and operations out-of-service orders will be initiated.
Not surprisingly, some are critical of the new program. Some say it needs to take into account fundamental differences in the locations where fleets operate. For example, fleet operations in the industrial Northeast are known to have a higher risk for accidents than in the more wide open Midwest, in comparison. Some also had hoped new compliance review procedures would “incentivize” continued safe driving as a “corrective action“, rather than merely penalize unsafe driving.
The CSA 2010 operational model is now being tested in six states -- Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, and New Jersey -- and will be up and running nationwide in the summer of 2010. Click here to learn more details about CSA 2010.
What do you think of the new CSA 2010?