SC&RA Forms CSA 2010 Task Force

The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) reports that on April 9, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced it had delayed the start of its new carrier safety monitoring system, the Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010. The first phase of the program was scheduled to begin in July, but FMCSA now says the new schedule calls for a so-called "data preview" to start in November, with some enforcement provisions delayed until 2011.

Whenever it goes into effect, CSA 2010 will be a new approach to motor and driver compliance. CSA 2010 is designed to reduce large truck and bus crashes, injuries and fatalities while maximizing enforcement resources. With this new initiative, FMCSA intends to take on a more proactive role, tackling unsafe behaviors head-on before they can lead to disaster; directly monitor the safety and performance of motor carriers, as well as individual drivers, and address problem drivers based on their records across multiple employers; and use new tools to measure and evaluate on-road safety performance and intervene when that performance is found to be poor.

Although SC&RA supports efforts to improve motor carrier and transportation safety, the Association states it sees considerable room for improvement to the proposed CSA 2010 program. For example, SC&RA believes FMCSA should:

    * Reevaluate CSA 2010 violation severity weights. SC&RA cites in particular, multipliers used for certain load-securement infractions which the Association believes seem disproportionate and unjustifiable, considering the small potential impact on safety of some violations, as currently defined.

    * Make crash causation determinations on truck-involved crashes before entering them into a carrier's profile so drivers and carriers are held accountable only for crashes they cause.

    * Use vehicle miles traveled, not number of trucks, as a carrier's exposure measure.

    * Focus on using actual citations and not unadjusted "warnings" from law enforcement.

SC&RA has established a CSA 2010 Task Force, whose members have been drawn from the safety education and taining committees of SC&RA transportation and crane & rigging groups. Task force members will meet this month with FMCSA to address key objections and requisite changes to the CSA 2010 program. The Association also plans to continue working with the American Trucking Associations and other concerned organizations.

Although implementation of CSA 2010 has been delayed, many SC&RA members already are being affected by it, states the Association. In December 2007, the FMCSA announced that it was ready to begin testing the program. Four states—Colorado, Georgia, Missouri and New Jersey—were selected for the pilot program, which encompassed about half of the carriers in each of those states.

In 2009, more states were added to the pilot: Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota and Montana. In the states added in 2009, all carriers are being evaluated, using the CSA 2010 model and, when necessary, are being addressed with the new intervention process, according to SC&RA.