April 08, 2010
On Monday, trucking companies will be able to go online and get a preview of their safety performance data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in preparation for implementation of the CSA 2010 program in November.The original plan was to start the Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 rollout in July, but based on feedback from the industry and the safety enforcement community, as well as the experience gained in pilot tests of the program in nine states, the agency decided to delay implementation until Nov. 30.On that day the agency plans to replace the current safety measurement system, SafeStat, with a new program, the Carrier Safety Measurement System, that it has developed as part of CSA 2010. The agency also will send warning letters to carriers that are not meeting CSMS standards, and implement a new Inspection Selection System for roadside inspections based on the new program rather than SafeStat.In a notice that is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, the agency said that the states that have been testing the program will begin the full array of CSA 2010 interventions in July, after the pilot program ends. The test states are Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana and New Jersey. The rest of the states will phase in the new interventions next year.CSA 2010 is an ambitious attempt to improve the agency's labor-intensive regulatory system. The agency now relies on compliance reviews that require on-site visits by enforcement personnel to obtain key safety data. It can perform these reviews on only 12,000 to 13,000 carriers each year, less than 2% of the 700,000 or so carriers now on the agency's rolls. CSA 2010 is designed to make more productive use of the agency's resources by expanding the scope of the data it uses to measure safety, adding a broader array of interventions for carriers that are not measuring up, and developing a new way to determine a carrier's safety fitness. This last portion of the program will not be unveiled until later this year because it requires a formal rulemaking with a public comment period.While the industry and the enforcement community have been generally supportive of the overall plan, many have expressed reservations about some of the details. Carriers are concerned, for example, about how the system will account for fault in crash data, and about the agency's intention to use a fleet's tractor count rather than mileage to determine exposure risk when determining safety fitness. American Trucking Associations applauded the 5-month delay in implementation."CSA 2010 is about safety, and ATA wants this program to succeed," said Dave Osiecki, senior vice president of policy and regulatory affairs. "The employment and business consequences for drivers and carriers are too great for CSA 2010 not to be done right from the beginning. We're hopeful this new implementation date will allow enough time for FMCSA to make a number of needed improvements to the program's model."