DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of August 15, 2011
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ATRI report reveals that many drivers simply don’t understand FMCSA’s CSA safety measurement system. Here are some of the biggest CSA myths out on the road today.
FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety Accountability (CSA) safety measurement system was a source of driver concern and confusion even before it went live last December. Months later a new report from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) reveals that many drivers believe and are circulating myths about CSA.
Some Common CSA Myths
ATRI surveyed more than 4,500 truck drivers and uncovered several common CSA myths and misconceptions. Here are a few highlights:
- 78% of drivers incorrectly believe that a trucking company inherits past violations from new hires. Under CSA, only the violations and accidents that occur while the driver is operating under a carrier’s authority affect the employer’s SMS ratings. Therefore, newly hired drivers do not bring their past violations with them, and carriers can not eliminate inspections and crashes from their record by terminating a driver.
- 72% falsely believe that FMCSA can revoke a commercial driver’s license (CDL) as a result of CSA. Only state agencies responsible for issuing licenses have the authority to suspend them. The introduction of CSA did not give FMCSA the authority to remove drivers from their jobs or take away their CDLs.
- 68.6% of drivers falsely believe that CSA takes into account a driver’s personal vehicle driving record. A ticket or warning received while operating a personal vehicle does not count in the SMS.
- 58.5% of drivers falsely believe that the federal motor carrier safety regulations have changed as a result of CSA. Contrary to what many believe, CSA did not usher in a whole new set of regulations. CSA is simply a new system that prioritizes carriers for enforcement action. Carriers are still subject to all of the same regulatory requirements, including Drug and Alcohol, Hours-of-Service, Driver Qualifications, and more. The FMCSA is currently working on CSA-related changes to the Safety Fitness Determination process, but a final rule is months, if not years, away.
Other Driver Concerns
The ATRI survey also revealed that drivers are surprisingly uninformed about CSA BASICs. According to the report, 99% of drivers could not correctly identify which five carrier BASICs scores are publicly available. Meanwhile, 98% did not know that official driver scores are only available to FMCSA enforcement officials.
Is It Time for CSA Refresher Training?
There may not be a mandatory CSA training requirement, but it is still important for both carriers and drivers to understand the system.
Carriers may want to take a few minutes during their next safety meeting to clarify the CSA myths highlighted in this issue and to answer any driver questions about the CSA system. If your drivers pose questions that you need help answering, please do not hesitate to call a Foley Compliance Specialist at 800-253-5506. Our regulatory experts have been following and reporting on the roll-out of CSA for a few years, and will be happy to help you find answers to drivers’ toughest CSA questions.
Foley has a number of resources to help motor carriers and drivers operating under the CSA system. Click on the CSA2010 tab in the top menu of our homepage at www.FoleyServices.com. There you will find a variety of CSA-compliant products and services, including the top-selling The Motor Carrier’s Guide to CSA: Understanding Compliance, Safety, Accountability.
Guidance, But No New Rules, for Farmers. Late last week you could practically hear the agricultural community breathing a collective sigh of relief as FMCSA announced that it was not planning to introduce new regulations for agricultural transport. Many farmers and others who earn a living from the agricultural industry were concerned that FMCSA was considering new rules when the agency issued a May 31, 2011 public notice requesting public input on the current safety rules and exemptions for farmers.
The agency did issue new guidance to help ensure that states are applying agricultural exceptions in a fair and consistent manner. For more information, visit www.FoleyServicesBlog.com.