The purpose of the CSA2010 initiative (Comprehensive Safety Analysis) is to “develop more effective and efficient methods for FMCSA, together with industry and state partners, to achieve its mission of reducing commercial motor vehicle crashes, fatalities, and injuries.” Basically, a new, updated “system” to increase the safety rating among truck drivers and motor carriers. Under the new system, both carrier and driver will be assessed points for their safety performances. Upon reaching the maximum points allowed, the driver or motor carrier will be in violation of the new CSA2010.
As a follow up from our previous post: CSA2010 and DAC report to cause more lost jobs for American truckers, violations by drivers and carriers will be taken by SafeStat and stored in a DataBase. This information is from the D.O.T roadside inspections. Upon its implementation, drivers will receive a score according to a three year look back of this information within the DataBase. If their total point score is at the maximum level, current drivers and companies could immediately be in violation and placed out of service and/or terminated.
This is why the FMCSA, itself, has projected that 175,000 drivers could lose their jobs as soon as CSA2010 is implemented. Furthermore, they project that 47.9% of the U. S. trucking companies could fail.
Drivers will also face a level of severity rating system that will be assessed under the new initiative, scheduled to be implemented in July, 2010. Based on the violation, drivers will be given a severity rating between 1-10, with 10 being the highest. This rating will then be used in a mathematical formula to determine the total points against the driver, which in turn, will determine if the driver has reached the maximum number of points allowed by CSA2010. The actual limit of points a driver or carrier can reach before being in violation, is yet to be known . . . at least, I have not been able to locate it.
However, the level of severity rating system is quite disturbing. Keeping in mind that severity will be rated between levels 1-10, with 10 being the highest, here are a few examples of what severity level rating a driver will be assessed for several violations:
- Violate a state or local ordinance or regulation: Level 1
- Violate hours of service : Level 7
- Operate a CMV with inoperative headlight/tail light: Level 6
- Violate that a load is not secured : Level 10
- Operate a CMV while ill or fatigued : Level 10
- Operate a CMV with a leaky tire : Level 8
- Operate while DUI : Level 10
So as drivers, you must understand that if you do your pre-trip inspection and everything is fine and good to go, and you drive 50 miles and catch a nail in the tire and DOT pulls you over and discovers the leaky tire . . . you will be hit with a Level 8 severity rating. Still, the total number of points allowed before being punished by CSA2010, has not yet been determined by myself . . . I have not been given the answer to this question by anyone else either.
In the case of CSA2010, time is on your side as a professional driver. The algebraic equation to be used to determine the total points against drivers from the road side inspections varies between the different measures within the system. Basically, it is determined by taking the total time and severity level ratings/violations, divided by the number of time relevant roadside inspections. All clear now?
This means that severity levels and points can reduce over time. If you get hit with a Level 8 for a leaky tire, but do not have another violation for six months, when the calculation is performed to determine your points, the points will go down due to the length of time that has passed between the two violations. This is why I say that time really is on your side.
As this information for the DataBase is being put together, none has been released to the trucking companies or truck drivers. However, the information is available to drivers right now. The Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) establishes a presumption that records in the possession of agencies and departments of the Executive Branch of the U. S. Government are available to the public.
A driver can file a Freedom of Information request to the FMCSA to receive this information being created as a result of CSA2010. To submit your request, you must do the following:
- Make your request in writing and include your name, address and phone number where you can be reached if they (FMCSA) needs to contact you.
- Clearly indicate that you are making your request under the Freedom of Information Act.
- The request must reasonably and specifically describe the documents you are seeking.
- When requesting documents on a specific motor carrier, include the carrier’s name and principal place of business, or their DOT number.
Submit your request to:Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Attn: FOIA, Team MC-MMI 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE Washington, DC 20590
Contact the FOIA Public Liaison, ONLY after you have received your documents from the FOIA office, if you have any questions or concerns about the information shown. This contact information is:FMCSA Public Liaison Duane DeBruyne 202-366-9999
Another important note, is that the information for the DataBase is currently from SafeStat. However, once CSA2010 is enforced, the DataBase will be handled by NIC Technologies out of Olathe, Kansas. NIC was awarded the contract by the Federal Department of Transportation for the National Motor Carrier Pre-Employment Screening System. You can read the News Release . . .
Once NIC takes over, drivers information reports showing your driver score, will cost $10 and trucking companies will also have to pay the $10 fee. Also, companies do not have to share this information with the driver. If not, you will have to pay the ten dollar fee to receive the information that has been collected on you.
Furthermore, it is being reported that there is no way to challenge false information on this report. This is not true. Drivers can contest wrong information on their reports by using the FMCSA’s DataQs system. You must first register from the DataQs home page by selecting “register on-line” as a general public user and create a DataQs account profile. Once registered, drivers will be able to challenge his or her data by following the detailed instructions in the “Help” menu. Once NIC takes over the DataBase, you will not be able to challenge the false information through FMCSA’s system. NIC reportedly will provide a means of allowing drivers to contest the information, but currently they have not established how they will provide this service.
This information is not well known, so I hope this assists drivers in the dispute process towards this new point rating system data.
On Thursday, January 21st, 2010 our talk radio show, Truth About Trucking “LIVE” aired a 90 minute open discussion on important issues facing drivers and the trucking industry. CSA2010 was clearly the leader.
The show had many on-line listeners from their phones, through the internet and a good participating audience in the provided chat room. Mike Rone of RMR Consultants and Jimmy Sills, a CSA2010 specialist, called into the show to share their knowledge of CSA2010. Furthermore, Mr. Rone stated that DAC Services will have nothing to do with the CSA2010 initiative and that this is false information being told to drivers by their companies. The three year look back on drivers records, will come from the roadside inspections performed by D.O.T.
If you missed the show and you find 90 minutes to spare, you can listen to the information shared:
We will keep you posted on CSA2010, and the other important issues facing the trucking industry.
© 2010, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.