CSA & You

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CSA & You

Knowledge of your industry is key to success. Apex believes in understanding and sharing this knowledge with carriers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has taken a new approach to how it measures, reviews, and addresses the safety of motor carriers and drivers. Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) is this initiative put into action. Read on to find out more!

Will your 2012 CSA scores be correct?

CSA uses your Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and Power Unit (PU) data from your Motor Carrier Registration form (MCS-150) to calculate your Unsafe Driving and Crash Indicator BASICs.

If your VMT information is 2009 or older, it won’t be used or reflected on your SMS snapshot posted in February.

To make sure FMCSA has accurate information to use when calculating your BASIC scores, visit https://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/PKG_REGISTRATION.prc_option to update your MCS-150 with your 2010 or 2011 VMT and PU data.

Here are a few frequently asked questions:

  • If the VMT data is not updated and is 2009 or older, what impact will this have when the snapshot is posted in the beginning of February? SMS uses VMT data if it has been provided within the last 24 months and references one of the two previous years.  So, the January 2012 snapshot (released in early February 2012), will only include data provided within the last 24 months and that has a VMT year of 2010 or later.
  • What will be affected? This could potentially impact a motor carrier’s Unsafe Driving and Crash Indicator BASICs results – both which use VMT data in their calculations.
  • How will motors carrier be affected? Motor carriers that currently receive a VMT-based adjustment due to high truck utilization (i.e. more VMT per PU than the average) will cease receiving that adjustment if they do not update their MCS-150 form to reflect more recent data (i.e. VMT year of 2010 or 2011).
  • If they update the information during the month of January will the change be reflected in the January snapshot that is posted in early February? Motor carriers must update their VMT information in the first few weeks of January to avoid this potentially detrimental effect on their Unsafe Drive and Crash Indicator BASIC percentiles.

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) replaces SafeStat with a new Safety Measurement System (SMS) that measures the previous two years of roadside violations and crash data. With the SMS, every inspection counts, not just out-of-service violations, and both driver and carrier safety performance is monitored. CSA re-engineers the existing enforcement and compliance business process to provide a better view into how well large commercial motor vehicle carriers and drivers are complying with safety rules, and to intervene earlier with those who are not.

For more information, click here.

CSA has a new resources page with toolkits for carriers and drivers. Included are fact sheets and brochures with additional information.

For more information on these resources, click here.

Safety Measurement System (SMS) is an automated system that quantifies the on-road safety performance of motor carriers so that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) can identify unsafe carriers, prioritize them for intervention, and monitor if a motor carrier’s compliance problem is improving. SMS pulls the previous 24 months of roadside inspection data from the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS – http://mcmiscatalog.fmcsa.dot.gov/) and State-reported commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes. SMS is organized into seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). A carrier’s measurement for each BASIC depends on the number of adverse safety events (violations or crashes related to that BASIC), severity of violations or crashes, and when the adverse safety events occurred (more recent events are weighted more heavily). Drivers as well as carriers will be scored and have their safety record monitored.

Motor carriers can log into SMS by one of two ways:

  • Entering their USDOT Number and USDOT Number PIN on the SMS login page here.
  • Logging into the FMCSA Portal and selecting the SMS link. Click here for FMCSA Portal.

The Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) are all motor carrier data from roadside inspections, including all safety-based violations, State-reported crashes, and the Federal Motor Carrier census, quantified into seven categories. The seven BASICs are: Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving (Hours-of-Service), Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Vehicle Maintenance, Cargo-Related, and Crash Indicator. Each BASIC is determined using the results of the motor carrier’s on-road performance over the previous 24 months and any investigation results over the previous 12 months. If an “ALERT” icon is displayed for a BASIC, it means that the on-road performance’s percentile is over the established threshold or the investigation results show the discovery of a serious violation. This means the BASIC is in alert status and the carrier may be prioritized for an intervention.

For more information on BASICs, click here.

The DataQs system is an electronic means of filing concerns about Federal and State data released to the public by FMCSA. If a carrier, driver, or stakeholder feels that any of the data in SMS is erroneous, they can request a data correction review through DataQs. Requests for data corrections require simple forms to be filled out (documentation to support the request may also be included) and submitted. If a request is made and granted, the organization responsible for the data makes the appropriate changes. The record is then updated in the SMS during the next monthly run of the measurement system.

To register for DataQs, click here.

An intervention is a tool used to provide carriers with information necessary to understand their safety problems and to change unsafe behavior early on. CSA has categorized interventions into 3 sections: early contact, investigation, and follow-on. Early contact consists of either a warning letter or targeted roadside inspection. Investigation can be an off site investigation, an on site focused investigation, or an on site comprehensive investigation. Follow-on consists of a cooperative safety plan (CSP), a notice of violation (NOV), a notice of claim (NOC), or an operations out-of-service order (OOS). An intervention is selected based on one or more of the following factors: number of BASICs percentiles above the threshold, BASICs alerted due to serious violations, commodity hauled, intervention history, time since last intervention, or a complaint or fatal crash. To learn more about the intervention process, click here.

Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) is a new FMCSA program designed to assist the motor carrier industry in assessing individual operators’ crash and serious safety violation history as a pre-employment condition. Through a company called NIC Technologies, motor carriers may request driver information for the purpose of pre-employment screening, but the driver must provide written consent. Note: the program is voluntary and is not part of CSA.

To enroll or access records through PSP, click here.