In December 2010, FMCSA launched the CSA program, which replaced SafeStat as a key safety measurement system, or SMS. FMCSA uses SMS data to prioritize carriers for interventions, inspections and possible enforcement action. CSA data is not a safety rating. CSA scores 7 BASICs, or behaviors (4 related to driver and 3 related to carrier). Under CSA, far more motor carriers will be reviewed and inspected by FMCSA and result in swifter action to remove drivers and carriers from the marketplace when serious safety issues are proven.
In CSA, there are now four (4) scores focusing on different aspects of driver conduct, where under SafeStat, there was only one (1) driver score. This puts a lot more focus on driver behavior, like fatigued driving, unsafe driving, and driver fitness. Carriers are complaining that that headlight and turn signal violations, and scores, are mounting quickly. Violations remain on the carrier’s record for 2 years—even after they terminate bad drivers.
CSA will cause carriers to be more selective in hiring drivers; to offer lucrative signing bonuses to safer drivers; to add capacity slower, due to a smaller driving pool of highly compliant drivers. CSA, and perhaps a rush to judgment, are leading some shippers and brokers to cut off carriers because they have one BASIC score over FMCSA “intervention thresholds.” Being aware of your carriers’ scores makes sense. Drawing hard lines regarding carriers using CSA is probably premature.
Tucker’s CEO, Jeff Tucker, and former FMCSA Administrator, Annette Sandberg, co- wrote a “CSA Orientation” document for the Transportation Intermediaries Association. Tucker is also chairing TIA’s Carrier Qualification Committee for the second time, which is the only such publication by any trade association. Contact your Tucker sales representative to discuss any aspect of CSA.