Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

FMCSA's Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program — formerly Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA 2010) — scores carriers and drivers on seven Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). BASIC scores are meant to identify poor safety performers, who are then subject to interventions by FMCSA.

In December 2010, FMCSA replaced the SafeStat web portal with the new motor carrier Safety Measurement System (SMS) based on the new CSA  Methodology. A revised Inspection Selection System (ISS) for roadside inspectors was also implemented based on CSA's SMS.

The most recent CSA SMS Methodology  was published in April 2018.

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CSA solutions

CSA Model

Safety Measurement System (SMS) - Seven BASICs

FMCSA routinely updates its Safety Measurement System (SMS) Methodology. The methodology was updated July 2017.

Motor carrier and driver safety performance are rated in seven different Behavioral Analysis Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) in the CSA SMS:

Click on the links above to learn about each BASIC and see related solutions. Or, see solutions that apply to all seven BASICs.


Based on BASIC CSA scores, FMCSA determines what (if any) interventions are taken against the carrier based on predetermined thresholds. Carriers evaluated as needing interventions are subject to a variety of actions depending on their BASIC scores and enforcement history. The interventions include the following:

  • Warning letter — view sample
  • Increased roadside enforcement
  • Focused off-site investigation
  • Focused on-site investigation
  • Cooperative safety plan
  • Notice of violation
  • Comprehensive on-site investigation
  • Notice of claim, penalty, and settlement agreement

Learn more about interventions.

Safety Rating

The remaining step in the CSA enforcement model is rulemaking to revise the current safety rating process. FMCSA proposes to replace the current Compliance Review Model (acute and critical violations) with the CSA Safety Fitness Determination (SFD). The SFD model takes into consideration both roadside inspection data and intervention history. The SFD process would not require a compliance review to determine a motor carrier's CSA rating or declare a carrier unfit.

CSA Safety Management Cycle

CSA Safety Management Cycle Chart

The Safety Management Cycle (SMC) is a model that systematically assesses your company's safety management practices and makes improvements where necessary.

According to the FMCSA, safety can be achieved within your organization by putting this model in place. In fact, the agency trained 1000+ Federal and State Partner employees on this improved investigative process.

The SMC moves beyond identifying what the safety violation is to why the safety performance issue is occurring so motor carriers can develop or refine policies, practices and operations to improve their safety performance and CSA scores.

Under the Safety Management Cycle, you develop processes that incorporate safety into every aspect of your operation. Because of this, use of the model may also improve your motor carrier’s bottom line. Get more details.

Essential CSA Solutions