Safety is key in preparing for CSA 2010 changes
Between now and the full implementation of its Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010 safety rating system, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will conduct outreach efforts to inform carriers and drivers of the upcoming changes, and to encourage everyone to become actively involved.
In February 2008, FMCSA launched a field test of the CSA 2010 operational model in Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, and New Jersey encompassing about 50 percent of the carriers and government resources in each of the states. In the spring of 2009, the agency added Montana and Minnesota to the test group. Gradual expansions of the new model are ongoing and have demonstrated that it is working as planned.
Throughout the testing stages, FMCSA has used the CSA 2010 data it has collected so far along with input from drivers, carriers, and other industry professionals to modify the system for even better results.
But many drivers and trucking companies want to know how the changes will affect them and what they can do to prepare for them.
According to FMCSA, the first and most important thing is to know the safety regulations and abide by them at all times.
According to Rose McMurray, Chief FMCSA Safety Officer, other suggestions include going to FMCSA’s website and reviewing the data the agency has on file. There, individuals and companies can review their safety information for factual errors. Directions are posted on the website on how to correct erroneous information.
“Most importantly, ensure your drivers clearly understand that their actions will now reflect more directly on your company’s safety rating,” McMurray said in a presentation to the Association of Small Trucking Companies earlier this month. “That’s because every violation, including vehicle maintenance issues uncovered at the roadside [checks] will count. Not just Out-Of-Service violations, as is currently the case.”
McMurray also said that companies must make sure their drivers are trained, medically certified, and properly licensed.
“Simply put, there is nothing to fear about this new system, provided you hire safe drivers, maintain your vehicles, and monitor your roadside inspection reports for accuracy and follow-up corrective actions,” McMurray advised.
CSA 2010 is a federal initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce commercial motor vehicle (CMV)-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities. It introduces a new enforcement and compliance model that allows regulators to assess and contact a larger number of carriers earlier in order to address safety problems before crashes occur. FMCSA expects the program to be fully rolled out by the end of this year.