Refining CSA 2010
Jun 1, 2010 12:00 PM, By Rick Weber
FMCSA addressing concerns over crash data, power units, and method of weighing violations
Refining CSA 2010 continued...
Starting in July, states will be incorporated into the new intervention process on a rolling basis. FMCSA will train states on how to conduct CSA 2010 interventions in classroom training with case studies. Once trained, a state will operate under the new system, with all states operating in the new environment by January 2011.
Quade said FMCSA believes SafeStat works, and even though it is not a perfect system, carriers that are identified as high-risk have a higher crash risk than carriers that are not. But he believes it tends to generalize the violations.
“Under SafeStat, we don't start intervening until a carrier has a problem in two or three areas,” he said. “So we created the Safety Management System, and instead of breaking violations into three broad categories, we're breaking them up into six behavioral areas and one for crashes. Four behaviors are focused on drivers.
“All preliminary data says we are able to touch more carriers and we are successfully intervening. The data is saying we're heading in the right direction with this.
“In the current system, it's one-size-fits-all. Under CSA 2010, we have a variety of interventions. We start off with a warning letter for carriers on the cusp, bringing it to their attention, asking them to investigate and look at the data and spend some time thinking about why crashes are happening. We want to get the attention of management before we actually go out and do the intervention.
“We're also doing more targeted interventions. If we see a carrier having one problem in one area — driver qualifications — instead of going out spending time looking at their logs and maintenance systems, we're going to go and look at driver qualifications. We'll look at driver files, CDLs, the records, and hiring process. Some of the interventions will be off-site. We will say, ‘Please send us these files, instead of us coming out and disrupting your business.’ ”
Old safety ratings
He said the safety fitness determination will come later.
“We still have to do the rulemaking,” he said. “Right now, we only issue a safety rating after we've done a complete compliance review, and that safety review sticks with the company until we issue a new one. There are fleets in our database that have safety ratings that go back to reviews conducted in the 1980s. A review conducted in the 1980s is probably not an accurate picture of the safety of a company in 2010. We're going to propose a safety rating methodology that builds on the BASICs and says that we will assess safety ratings based on the on the road performance of carriers without necessarily coming in and doing a review.
“On November 30, we propose going live with the SMS system. Between August and November, that gives the industry another three months to look at the data and how they compare, and make whatever adjustments are necessary. This will be a key point, something we emphasize with state partners — data quality. Part of this system is incumbent on you, the carriers, to make sure this data is accurate.
“CSA 2010 official interventions probably will not kick off until next spring. We have an IT system that we're bringing along slower than originally planned. Safety fitness will come through the rulemaking process. We will probably propose in December (2010) or January (2011), after everybody has had a chance to look at SMS.”
“The current intervention program is very much based on what is happening and what violations occur. We kind of stop there. At the end, we tell a carrier, ‘You have 14 hours of service violations.’ Under CSA 2010, we're going to be focusing on why. Why do violations exist? And we encourage carriers and give suggestions and ideas regarding underlying reasons violations are existing. Can we identify any disconnect between the dispatch and the safety department? Maybe for larger companies with robust safety departments, these are things that get dealt with through the fleet's own processes. But 90% of the companies we deal with have 10 trucks or fewer. Many don't have formalized safety processes, and we really believe this is something we can do that will make a larger impact on safety.”
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