Applicability

Any interstate carrier that has a US DOT number is covered by the CSA program, no matter what "type" of carrier they are (for-hire, private, flatbed, van, utility, construction, etc.), what size carrier they are, or what type of vehicles they operate (CDL required versus non-CDL required vehicles). Intrastate hazmat carriers are also subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) authority and subsequently CSA.

Intrastate hazmat carriers are subject to CSA. For all other carriers, it depends if their state requires intrastate carriers to get a DOT number, if they upload intrastate carrier violation and accident data into the Safetynet/MCMIS system, and if they do anything with the output of the system. What the states that require intrastate carriers to have a DOT number will do with CSA remains to be seen.

No. There are no waivers. Any interstate carrier that has a US DOT number will be involved in the CSA program.

Any interstate carrier with a US DOT number will be involved in the CSA program, no matter where they are domiciled. However, only accidents and violations that occur in the US will be counted in the data collection and evaluation system. The same is true of US carriers operating in Canada or Mexico (only violations that occur in the US will be counted in the carrier's data and evaluation).

The carrier's principal place of business listed on the MCS-150 will determine which state office will be responsible for the carrier.

No. Carriers and their drivers (if the violation is one the driver was responsible for or could have prevented) are who will be held responsible for violations in the CSA systems.

No. Carriers and their drivers (if the violation is one the driver was responsible for or could have prevented) are who will be held responsible for violations in the CSA systems.

Data

The measurement system uses the previous 24 months' worth of data when calculating a carrier's BASIC CSA Scores. Anything older than 24 months will not be used (for drivers it is the last 36 months of data).

The measurement system uses the previous 24 month's worth of data when calculating a carrier's BASIC Scores. Anything older than 24 months will not be used (for drivers it is the last 36 months of data).

The CSA systems will use the following:

  • Crash reports provided by the states for DOT recordable crashes.
  • Roadside inspection reports provided by the states, and all violations listed on the reports.
  • Violations discovered during interventions conducted by state or federal investigators.

Drivers

No. Any driver operating a commercial vehicle is subject to the CSA program. A "commercial vehicle" according to the FMCSA is a vehicle used in commerce with a gross weight or a gross weight rating of more than 10,000, either single or in combination, a passenger vehicle that seats more than 8, and any vehicle transporting a placarable amount of a hazardous material (see §390.5 for a complete definition).

No. The only data that will be placed into the CSA database related to drivers will be violations noted on a roadside inspection report (this is only completed when a commercial vehicle and/or the driver of a commercial vehicle is inspected) and crashes that the driver is involved in while operating a commercial vehicle.

No. The severity weight system is simply a component of the CSA Safety Measurement System and has nothing to do with the driver's license.

No. If the driver committed the violations while operating under a carrier's DOT number, those violations stay with that carrier for 24 months, even if the driver leaves.

No. The only violations that get placed into a carrier's data are violations involving vehicles and drivers operating under the carrier's DOT number.

Yes. If a violation is determined to be one the driver was responsible for or could have prevented it will be placed in his/her personal data as well as the carrier's. This personal data stays with the driver, no matter what carrier the driver is working for.

Any violation involving a vehicle or driver operating under a carrier's DOT number will be assigned to the carrier, including violations involving owner operators operating under a carrier's DOT number. If the violation is one that the driver is responsible for or could have prevented, the violation will also be assigned to the driver (in this case, the owner operator).

No. All violations are assigned to the company. If the violation is one that the FMCSA has determined the driver was responsible for or could have prevented the violations will also be placed into the driver's data.

No. The data in the PSP and CSA systems is not the same information that is in the driver's MVR (MVR has citations and convictions, while the PS and CSA systems show violations noted on roadside inspection reports) and is not the same information that is being collected in the SPH (drug and alcohol testing results are not in any database maintained by the FMCSA).

No. There are no regulatory provisions that would allow the FMCSA to "pull" a driver's CDL at this time (this would require rulemaking). The FMCSA can initiate interventions against the drivers, up to and including fining the driver, but they cannot suspend a driver's CDL at this time.

No. Carriers will only be able to see the driver data; the driver's BASIC CSA Scores will be confidential.

Interventions

Interventions are selected based on the following factors: number of Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) percentiles above the threshold (Note: a high BASIC percentile indicates high noncompliance), a symbol due to Serious Violations, commodity hauled (e.g., passengers, Hazardous Material (HM)), intervention history, and time since last intervention. A complaint or fatal crash could also trigger an investigation.

The Intervention Thresholds for carriers are organized by BASIC and are set based on the BASIC's relationship to crash risk. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's analysis has shown that the strongest relationship to crash risk is found with high percentiles in the Unsafe Driving, Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance and Crash Indicator BASICs. Therefore, these higher risk BASICs have a lower threshold for interventions than the other BASICs. Currently, the Intervention Thresholds are as follows:

Intervention Thresholds Table

No. The intervention selected by the FMCSA will depend on the BASIC Score (the further the carrier is over the intervention threshold, the more severe the intervention) and the carrier's intervention history.

Safety Event Groups

One of the ways the SMS accounts for the differences between motor carriers and their operations is by placing carriers in safety event groups based on the number of safety events (e.g., inspections, crashes) in which the carriers have been involved. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's foremost concern is safety and it accomplishes this by addressing the carriers who pose the greatest crash risk, irrespective of their industry segment.

Safety event groups enable the SMS to deal with the widely diverse motor carrier population, while ensuring that similarly situated carriers are treated with the same standards. Safety event groups do not compare carriers by the commodities they haul or their industry segment.

The tables below outline the safety event groups for each of the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) and can be found in the SMS Methodology document.

Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance, Driver Fitness, and Vehicle Maintenance BASICs
Hazardous Materials Compliance BASIC

*A relevant inspection is one where the roadside inspector reviewed a particular area for evidence of violations (not all inspection types/levels look at all areas).

Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASIC

The Unsafe Driving and Crash Indicator BASICs divide the safety event groups further into two additional categories: combo and straight segments. The following is used under the SMS to determine the carrier's segment:

  • "Combo" – combination trucks/motor coach buses constituting 70 percent or more of the total Power Units (PUs).
  • "Straight" – straight trucks/other vehicles constituting more than 30 percent of the total PUs.
Unsafe Driving BASIC
Crash Indicator BASIC

Regulations

No. CSA does not include any new regulations carriers will need to comply with. CSA is a system for tracking, measuring, evaluating, and intervening with carriers, it is not a new regulation that carriers must comply with. The only regulatory component in CSA has to do with the FMCSA using the Safety Evaluation the CSA Safety Measurement System generates as a carrier's official rating and changing the auditing procedures used by the FMCSA investigators.

No. The requirements for drivers and the documentation the driver must have with them are not changing.

Violations & CSA Scores

Yes. All violations of the safety regulations appearing in the severity weighting tables and noted on a roadside inspection report during a relevant inspection will be used in the CSA Safety Measurement System. However, due to the severity weighting system serious violations will have a greater impact on a carrier's CSA scores than minor violations.

No. Size and weight violations were removed from the now obsolete Cargo Related BASIC when the Methodology was updated in August 2010.

No. If the officer did not complete a roadside inspection report, the inspection will not show up in CSA. Instruct drivers that if the officer did do a complete driver inspection, the driver should ask for an inspection report. However, please be aware that there are several reasons the officer my not have completed a roadside inspection report. Examples include the following:

  • The officer did a simple "traffic stop," not a roadside inspection.
  • The officer was not a MCSAP/CVSA officer. Only officers that have been properly trained can conduct roadside inspections and submit reports.
  • The officer did not do a complete inspection (simply checking a driver's license or log does not count as an inspection; the inspection must meet the North American Standards established by CVSA to be recorded as a roadside inspection).

There are two main appeals processes if you feel that you have received a violation you should not have. The first is to contact the State Motor Carrier Safety Office in the state the inspection took place in, and the second is the DataQs system operated by the FMCSA. In both cases, you will need to be able to support your argument (you cannot simply state that you feel the violation was incorrect; you will need to provide regulatory or factual proof that the violation was incorrect).

Yes, any roadside inspection report that has been submitted to the FMCSA by a state will be visible. One key point: Carriers will still need to track roadside inspection reports internally (to make sure corrective actions are completed and that drivers are submitting all reports to the company and officers are submitting all reports).

CSA Training Solutions

CSA Training

Give drivers the training they need on CSA and the 7 BASICs, in your choice of format. Shop training now.

CSA Performance Suite

CSA Performance Suite

Affordable outsource service helps you proactively monitor your intervention risk. Get details now.

CSA Handbook: A Complete Guide for CMV Drivers

CSA Handbook

Provides an essential on-the-road reference for all your drivers on critical CSA issues. Learn more or order.