Safety & Compliance

FMCSA Plans Upgrades to CSA Safety Data Website

July 24, 2014

By Oliver Patton

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is implementing a number of changes designed to improve the Safety Measurement System website, some in response to industry feedback.

The SMS site is where carriers and the public go to get the safety performance data the agency uses to determine which carriers pose a risk and need to be investigated, under its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program better known as CSA. Last year the site hosted nearly 48 million user sessions, the agency said.

The changes, which the agency proposed last November based on suggestions from the industry and others, are intended to make the website more accessible and useful.

In addition to the changes it proposed last year, the agency is adding several new innovations suggested by industry groups.

Here’s a rundown of what will be new when the changes are implemented on August 2.

  • The site will display a carrier’s summary status in the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories. The aim is to clarify if a carrier’s performance will lead to enforcement intervention. The agency said it will give users single-click access to detailed BASIC information.
  • In response to a comment by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the agency will clarify how on-road performance data and investigation results are factored into a carrier’s status.
  • The site will feature a tour to explain the revisions.
  • The site will let users download the public data for all carriers in the same safety event group, such as inspections or crashes, used to rank the carrier’s BASIC percentile. This does not include the Crash Indicator and HazMat Compliance data.
  • The site will highlight a carrier’s performance in each BASIC to identify any trends. The agency will include descriptions of a carrier’s measure and explanations of its relationship to the carrier’s percentile.
  • The site will change the display of the BASICs based on effectiveness.
  • The site will include a carrier’s safety rating from a compliance review, information that formerly had to taken from a different database.
  • The site will show a carrier’s current insurance and authority status. It will include a link to the Licensing & Insurance Online Web Site.
  • The carrier’s enforcement case history will be posted.In response to a suggestion by American Trucking Associations, the agency will provide a link to its Civil Penalties Web Site.
  • The site will offer a variety of customizable displays and graphs to portray safety performance over time.
  • The site will display the total number of inspections and a breakdown of the number of inspections with violations.
  • The site will clarify SMS terminology.

 The agency is adding four other changes based on suggestions it received.

  • It will show carriers their Inspection Selection System data on the Carrier Overview page.
  • It will show driver and vehicle out-of-service information based on public data from its Safety and Fitness Electronic Records site.
  • In response to a suggestion by ATA, the agency will provide a link to its test of the Safety Management System’s effectiveness. It also will display the results in graphs on the web site.
  • In response to a suggestion by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the agency will post the carrier’s “Doing Business As” name.

Starting August 20, the agency will host a series of webinars to explain these changes and answer any questions.

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