The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently announced it activated previously announced changes to its CSA program, including the adoption of a controversial proposal to step up hazardous materials compliance and the elimination of a perceived enforcement bias against flatbed carriers. According to FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro during a conference call earlier this month, the agency implemented 11 changes to CSA, including the creation of a stand-alone hazardous materials compliance category and moving cargo-securement violations into the vehicle maintenance category. The changes include two Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement categories FMCSA uses to monitor carrier performance; it also renamed another BASIC. The CSA program uses roadside violation inspection and crash data to help FMCSA identify unsafe or high-risk motor carriers.
When FMCSA first unveiled the tweaks in August, the agency said they would only cause "modest” changes to he program’s Safety Measurement System carrier percentile scores but would "sharpen our focus on the carriers that need our focus.” However, the new hazmat category has been controversial among motor carriers that are not primary hazmat haulers, as some have said a preview of the new BASIC showed their scores would worsen. Other modifications that went live last week include changing the name of the Fatigued Driving BASIC to the Hours-of-Service Compliance BASIC, removing 1-to-5 mph speeding violations from carrier and driver safety scores, and assigning the same CSA severity weights to paper logs and electronic logging device violations.
To help shippers (including those with private fleets) better understand the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability program, NASSTRAC will host a Collaborative Learning Lab on CSA at the upcoming 2013 Shippers Conference & Transportation Expo in April.