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Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 8:32 p.m.


CSA SMS refers to an official Safety Measurement System. The FMCSA updates the Safety Measurement System (SMS) each month to identify and target motor carriers that pose the greatest risk to safety. The SMS incorporates roadside inspection and crash report information from the past two years and data from investigations into seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). Federal motor carrier safety regulations

These categories group carriers based on their number of safety events, allowing for a more accurate ranking and intervention prioritization. Results are available to carriers who have logged onto the FMCSA website. With this information, pages can make informed decisions about improving their safety records. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

What Does CSA Mean?

The Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is designed to enhance truck and bus safety to reduce crash frequency. This new enforcement model allows FMCSA and its state partners to reach more carriers earlier on, to identify potential problems before they lead to accidents. Through CSA, FMCSA is striving to make roads safer for everyone. What is the DOT SAP Program?

How Do Carrier Safety Measurement System Scores Get Calculated?

Under the CSA program, SMS has replaced FMCSA's Safety Status (SafeStat) system as an assessment tool for identifying motor carriers with high-risk profiles requiring intervention to improve road safety. The new system evaluates each carrier's safety record based on 24 months of performance data, including all violations recorded during roadside inspections and State-reported crashes. Know about UCR registration.

Each carrier's performance will be evaluated in each of the seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). Through this comprehensive approach, CSA allows FMCSA to target those carriers most likely to pose safety risks and assist them before it is too late. Visit the DOT Authority Package, which contains tips to prepare for 2023 DOT Week filings in minutes. How do you get an Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?

What Are the BASICs Categories?

The Safety Measurement System (SMS) evaluates carriers according to seven behaviors that are associated with crash risk. The BASICs, as they’re known, focus on areas such as:

  • Unsafe Driving (CFR Part 397)
  • Controlled Substances and Alcohol (CFR Part 382)
  • Vehicle Maintenance (CFR Part 396)
  • Hazardous Materials Compliance (CFR Part 172 Subpart H)
  • Fatigued Driving or Hours of Service Compliance (CFR 395 Parts 390-399)
  • Driver Fitness (CFR Parts 383 & 391)
  • Crash Indicator (Reportable Crashes)

Each behavior has been developed from several studies that quantify the associations between violations and crash risk, statistical analysis, and law enforcement subject matter experts. What is the DOT SAP Program?

Why Did the FMCS Implement CSA?

The FMCSA has set its sights on improving safety for drivers and motor carriers. Despite steady progress in recent years, the rate at which crashes have been reduced has slowed. This prompted FMCSA to examine how it evaluates carrier and driver safety.

The result of this assessment is CSA, or Compliance, Safety, and Accountability. With CSA, the FMCSA will better assess the safety performance of more industry segments and intervene earlier with carriers who demonstrate unsafe behaviors. By taking these steps towards improved oversight and transparency, FMCSA hopes to reduce crash rates on our roads further. You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees who drive for you working. Also, take a look at what IRP or Apportioned Registration is.

What Does Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) Mean?

FMCSA officials have mandated a new program, the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP), to help the motor carrier industry evaluate potential operators based on their crash and severe safety violation history. PSP is entirely voluntary and does not have any connection with CSA. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker.

Does CSA Assign Safety Ratings to Individual CMV Drivers?

Nope! CSA does not assign individual commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers safety ratings or safety fitness determinations. Still, in line with the existing safety rating regulations (49 CFR part 385), individual drivers are rated following a detailed onsite inspection at their place of work when they work independently as a "motor carrier" (e.g., having their own USDOT number, operating authority, and insurance). CSA provides upgraded instruments for Safety Investigators to detect and manage drivers with poor safety records. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointedViolations?

How Does a Driver’s Violation History Affect a Carrier’s SMS (Safety Measurement System) Rating?

Carriers are only assessed on inspections and crashes that were reported under their own DOT number. Therefore, any violations a driver receives while driving for that particular carrier will be considered in their SMS evaluation. However, even if a driver is no longer employed by the airline, all of their crash and inspection results from when they were working still count towards the carrier's score for 24 months after the incident occurred. Also, visit the website link to learn more information.

This means that carriers must ensure they hire reliable drivers who don't have significant violation histories before taking them on board. They should also keep track of these records beyond an employee's termination date to ensure their scores remain unaffected. Companies can maintain high safety standards and protect themselves from potential harm by keeping everyone accountable. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

How Do Investigations Work?

The objective of any investigation is to guarantee that motor carriers and drivers adhere to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Three types of investigations can be carried out. Offsite investigations, which involve making use of telephone, email, fax, or postal services, are conducted remotely. Onsite-focused and onsite comprehensive investigations, on the other hand, take place at a carrier's business premises. You must visit the website link to learn more information.

Federal or State Safety Investigators (SI) assess a carrier's safety management system data, analyze the violations making up the SMS, and review their intervention history. To determine where operational breakdowns may occur, SIs communicate with representatives from the carrier through phone calls and face-to-face meetings and look at relevant documents. This investigation process is applied regardless of whether it is offsite, onsite focused, or onsite comprehensive. Working together in this way helps identify potential problems and allows collaboration to develop solutions that meet federal regulations of FMCSRs—the importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

When Can SMS Stop Flagging Me?

SMS will stop flagging a motor carrier when their safety performance improves and demonstrates scores below the intervention threshold. This can occur either through an improved performance during roadside inspections, or when past poor inspections are no longer considered due to them falling outside of the 24-month timeframe. In other words, by ensuring consistently satisfactory results over time and paying attention to how long ago any unsatisfactory results occurred, carriers can work towards improving their SMS score and ultimately avoid being flagged. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

    Key Points: What Is CSA SMS?

    Written below are the most essential facts about CSA SMS. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call our third-party organization.

    • CSA SMS stands for Compliance, Safety, Accountability - Safety Management System.
    • It is a system the FMCSA uses to provide safety oversight and measure compliance of commercial motor carriers in the US. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.
    • The system collects data from roadside inspections, crash investigations, and other sources to evaluate the safety performance of trucking companies. What is Unified Carrier Registration?
    • CSA SMS aims to improve highway safety by increasing accountability and reducing unsafe practices among commercial motor carriers.
    • To do this, the system assigns a score or rating to each carrier based on their performance. This score can be publicly viewed so that shippers can make more informed decisions when selecting a carrier for their freight transportation.
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