FMCSA Makes Changes to CSA Methodology
The FMCSA recently announced enhancements to the CSA methodology, specifically the Carrier Safety Measurement System (SMS).
This release is the first in a series of improvements to SMS that will take place up to twice a year. The process includes making a public announcement of planned changes, allowing carriers to privately view the impact the changes will have on their BASIC scores, soliciting feedback on the planned changes, modifying the planned changes (if appropriate), and making the new scores based on the methodology changes publicly available several months later.
The announced enhancements include:
- Moving Load Securement Violations to the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC – All load/cargo securement violations will be moved from the Cargo-related BASIC to the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC. This change helps to mitigate the inappropriate bias against flatbed carriers with their Cargo-related BASIC scores.
- Creation of a Hazardous Materials (HM) BASIC – A separate basic will be created to measure compliance with HM regulations. The Cargo-related BASIC will be renamed the HM BASIC and will measure only those carriers that transport placarded quantities of HM. This change helps to mitigate the inappropriate bias against HM carriers with their Cargo-related BASIC scores since their compliance with HM regulations was being compared against carriers that don’t transport HM.
- Applicability of Lower HM Thresholds – FMCSA will be changing the criteria for determining which carriers transporting HM will be subject to the lower thresholds in each BASIC. Under the new methodology, a motor carrier will be labeled as an “HM Carrier” and subject to the lower thresholds if the carrier:
- Has had at least two roadside inspections involving placarded quantities of HM in the prior 24 months, with one inspection occurring within the past 12 months
- Has 5% or more roadside inspections involving placarded quantities of HM
Motor carriers can now access the SMS Preview through two websites:
- Visit the CSA Website and log in with an FMCSA-issued U.S. DOT number and a personal identification number (PIN)
- Log in to the FMCSA Portal and select the “CSA Outreach” link.
FMCSA encourages motor carriers to view the SMS Preview to see how methodology changes will affect their SMS results.
On the CSA Website’s Resources page, motor carriers and other stakeholders can access a foundational document that provides additional information about the first set of SMS changes.
A Federal Register notice outlining the changes is also available for review. Written comments regarding the changes can be filed to the Federal Docket Management System at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket ID Number FMCSA-2012-0074.
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