In July of 2010 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will introduce a new program called the comprehensive safety analysis 2010. The idea behind the program is to make enforcement more efficient and effective. Currently, the enforcement system only conducts compliance reviews on 12,000 to 13,000 out of the estimate 700,000 carriers, less than 2%.
The system is based on 3 major areas: a safety measurement system, intervention, and safety evaluations.
Safety Measurement System
The safety measurement system will gather its information from many sources including traffic violations, crashes, and road side inspections. The information will be split into 7 categories and weighted according to risk. The categories are unsafe driving, fatigued driving, driver fitness, controlled substances and alcohol, vehicle maintenance, improper loading, and a crash indicator. The categories will be called Behavioral Analysis Safety Improvement Categories (or BASIC’S) and will replace the current system to evaluation whether a carrier should be investigated. The difference in the new system is data will be collected for both carriers and drivers too, currently only carriers are evaluated. One other difference is the data in the unsafe driving category will include warnings and citations instead of the current system that only tracks convictions.
The intervention part of the program kicks in if the safety measurement system warrants action. The agency will use a progressive system of discipline (and fines) to enforce including warning letters, targeted roadside inspections, offsite or onsite investigations, requirement of a cooperative safety plan, notices of violation, comprehensive onsite investigations (like the current compliance review) and fines. This is definitely a wider scope of enforcement actions that currently exist.
The data collected will help the agency with a proposed safety evaluation system. The system will rate carriers safety fitness into the following categories: Continue to operate, Marginal and Unfit depending on the date collected from the BASIC’S. Carriers will receive a rating (if the data exists) on a monthly basis.
Lots of questions remain and the CSA 2010 doesn’t appear to be a finished product just yet. You can view a website with a great deal of information at www.csa2010.com, if you would like to read and understand the program better.