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FMCSA Publishes Driver’s Q&A About CSA2010

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of November 1, 2010
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

This special issue of Fast-Fax reprints in full the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s official response to questions that have been posed by drivers about CSA2010.

What is the DSMS?
The Safety Measurement System (SMS) assesses a carrier’s safety performance based on its roadside violations and crashes. The DSMS is a tool within the SMS used by enforcement staff only. Its primary purpose is to help enforcement staff assess driver safety as part of motor carrier investigations. The DSMS does this by identifying which of a motor carrier’s drivers to examine during that carrier’s compliance review. This enforcement tool uses a subset of violations to evaluate an individual driver’s safety performance across employers. Appendix A in the SMS Methodology Report shows the violations used in the DSMS.

Who Can See the DSMS?
Only enforcement staff will have access to the DSMS for use during motor carrier safety investigations. Neither drivers nor employing motor carriers will have access to the DSMS. While some third-party vendors are developing and marketing CSA2010 driver scorecards, these companies do not have access to full driver violation histories in FMCSA databases. FMCSA has not and will not validate any vendors’ scorecards or data.

What is the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) and How Does it Impact CSA2010?
PSP is a new, voluntary FMCSA program mandated by Congress that is designed to assist the motor carrier industry in assessing individual drivers’ safety performance as part of the hiring process. PSP is a completely separate program from CSA2010. Additionally, PSP does not provide a rating, score or formal assessment of any kind. Drivers are encouraged to obtain and review their PSP report before applying for new jobs, and request a review of any potentially inaccurate data through FMCSA’s DataQs program. While the PSP is not part of CSA2010, the safety data accessible through PSP is the same data that the DSMS and enforcement staff use during motor carrier investigations.

Will FMCSA Use CSA2010 to Remove CMV Drivers From Their Jobs?
No. CSA2010 does not give FMCSA new authority to remove drivers from their jobs and cannot be used to publicly rate or assess drivers’ safety performance in the way carriers are rated or assessed today.Other important facts related to driver employment are outlined below.

  • Carriers will not inherit any of a newly hired driver’s past violations. Only those inspections and crashes that a driver is involved in while operating under a carrier’s authority can be applied to a carrier’s SMS.
  • Similar to today’s SafeStat, tickets or warnings that drivers receive while operating their personal vehicles do not count in the new SMS.
  • Neither FMCSA nor CSA2010 restricts drivers based on BMI, weight or neck size.
  • Drivers should ask current and potential motor carrier employers about their safety performance as measured under CSA2010. Drivers and carriers with strong safety performance histories stand to benefit from the new compliance and enforcement program.


Can FMCSA use CSA2010 to Revoke a Driver’s CDL?
No. CSA2010 does not give FMCSA the authority to revoke a CDL. Only state agencies responsible for issuing CDLs have the authority to suspend or revoke them.

  • The CDL Program is completely separate from CSA2010. FMCSA has developed and issued standards for the testing and licensing of CDL holders. These standards require states to issue CDLs only after the driver has passed knowledge and skills tests related to the type of vehicle the driver expects to operate.
  • The data kept by a state (i.e. tickets, citations, written warnings, convictions) and the data that are kept by the Federal government and used in the DSMS (i.e. violations from roadside inspections and crash reports) are separate. Drivers may review the data kept by the Federal Government through the PSP program referenced above and may request a review of the Federal data through FMCSA’s DataQs system.


How Does CSA2010 Affect a Motor Carriers’ Employment of CMV Drivers?
Under CSA2010, FMCSA continues to hold motor carriers responsible for the safety performance of the drivers they employ. This is a long-standing FMCSA position and is not unique to CSA2010. All inspections and crashes that a driver receives while under the authority of a carrier will remain part of the carrier’s SMS data for two years unless overturned through the DataQs system, even if the carrier terminates the driver.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 110, No. 661 • © Foley Services, Inc. 2010