Get Ready for CSA 2010
There is a major change coming to the North American trucking industry. This change will have an impact on every motor carrier that moves freight in the United States, including Canadian and Mexican truckers that move goods in and out of the United States. The United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) plans to fully implement a new safety initiative known as Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 or CSA2010.
The goal of the program 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 and it is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2010. According to Jeff Davis, Vice President, Safety and Human Resources, Jet Express Inc., Dayton, Ohio., this represents the biggest change in safety procedures in the trucking industry since the 1930’s.
The implementation of CSA2010 will result in three major changes.
1. The motor vehicle record or driver abstract will be changed.
2. Individual drivers are going to be audited and each will be given a personal safety rating.
3. An updated safety rating for each driver and trucking company will be issued every 30 days.
The personal safety rating will determine whether or not the driver is considered eligible to continue driving, requires some sort of “intervention,” or is deemed “unfit” to continue operating a commercial vehicle. Similarly motor carriers will face increased scrutiny under CSA2010 and will face harsh fines, corrective action plans and even risk having their entire fleets placed out of service due to violations.
The FMCSA has estimated that under their old system, fewer than 2% of carriers were audited annually, with no driver audits. Under CSA2010, all carriers, and eventually all drivers, with sufficient safety data available, will receive a safety rating that is periodically updated.
In a recent presentation at the Driving for Profit Seminar in Mississauga, Ontario, Jeff Davis outlined the four “duties of compliance” for all truckers. They include:
• Duty to comply with safety regulations
• Duty to detect violations
• Duty to prevent violations
• Duty to not aid and abet in violation of regulations
There are four major elements to CSA2010. They are Measurement, Intervention, Safety Evaluation and COMPASS (the safety information data base). The Measurement system will group the safety performance data of motor carriers and drivers into seven categories, called Basics – Behavioural Analysis Safety Improvement Categories. The seven BASICS are:
- Unsafe Driving
- Fatigued Driving
- Driver Fitness
- Controlled Substances/Alcohol
- Vehicle Maintenance
- Improper Loading/Cargo
- Crash Indicator
The data will be scored and weighted based on its relationship to crash causation. Based on a carrier’s score with each BASIC, the measurement system will trigger when the Agency should begin to “intervene” with a motor carrier and when its performance has reached the proposed “unfit” threshold. The measurement system will activate a set of progressive interventions that move the carrier from a warning letter through to a Comprehensive Notice of Claim/Settlement Agreement.
The safety data will also be used to categorize carriers into “continue to operate,” “marginal” (with ongoing intervention) and “unfit.” Carriers will also be ranked against their peers in their category (e. g. 5 power units or less). The ratings will be updated every 30 days. The CSA2010 data will be aligned with COMPASS, an FMCSA-wide initiative that is leveraging new technology to transform the way that FMCSA does business. The data by carrier and by driver will be available via the internet.
The CSA2010 will have some profound effects on the industry. Carriers will be able to see where they rank against their peer group on safety. Shippers will be able to determine the quality of the safety operations of their trucking company partners. In addition to FMCSA pressure, there will be pressure from shippers to take corrective action or lose out on business.
There will likely be heightened competition for drivers with good safety records. Safe drivers result in fewer accidents and reduced insurance costs. They also improve company safety scores. As a result, there will likely more emphasis placed on hiring and training safe drivers. CSA2010 could likely have the effect of either increasing the compensation for safe drivers or creating an incentive pay scheme to reward safe driving performance. Drivers with consistently poor safety records could face challenges in finding employment in the industry.
A trial of the CSA2010 is scheduled for a designated number of states in mid year 2010. The FMCSA has reviewed audits conducted in a recent five-year period and estimates that 47.9% of companies would have failed audits under the new rules! Under CSA2010, all carriers and all drivers will be audited annually. Over 70% of the roadside inspections will be the result of either speeding or obvious mechanical defects (worn tires, malfunctioning lights, etc.). Once an inspection has been initiated, the inspector is required to cover an extensive checklist of items as mandated by FMCSA. CSA2010 will cause companies to place more emphasis on the maintenance of their fleets. All motor carriers that do business in the United States should proactively create plans to upgrade their fleet safety procedures and safe driving practices to make sure they receive a good score in their first audit and on every subsequent audit.