CSA revamp plan released

FMCSA intends to overhaul the carrier scoring system

Posted July 18, 2018

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released a long-overdue action plan to revitalize the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scoring system.

In a report to Congress, the agency says it plans to switch to a new statistical model to replace the current CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS), which has been used since 2010 to score motor carriers across seven compliance categories.

The FMCSA puts a $2.5 million price tag on implementing the changes over a two-year period. A small-scale test of the new SMS model will be run in September, followed by full rollout in April 2019 and an evaluation of the results a few months after that.

Congress required the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to study the CSA scoring system and recommend improvements, which it did last year. Congress also required the FMCSA to hide trucking companies’ CSA scores from the public until the agency implements the NAS recommendations.

The FMCSA’s CSA action plan was due to Congress in December 2017 but was not completed and released until this week.

Among other changes the agency plans to implement:

  • Improve data quality, such as crash data and vehicle miles traveled;
  • Improve public access to safety data; and
  • Study the SMS “percentile ranks” and the usability of public scores.

The FMCSA says it will work with its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and the NAS to implement the changes.

This article was written by Daren Hansen of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.


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