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Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA)

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)





The Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) is a model designed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to improve its safety compliance and enforcement programs. The former SafeStat/compliance review system for auditing motor carriers was identified as labor-intensive and inefficient — only a fraction of the motor carriers were ever audited. CSA will help FMCSA and its state partners contact more carriers and drivers, use improved data to better identify high-risk carriers and drivers, and apply a wider range of interventions to correct high-risk behavior.
The goal of CSA is the development and deployment of a new operational model. The new approach uses FMCSA resources to identify drivers and operators that pose safety problems and to intervene to address those problems.
Weaknesses Identified in the CR system

FMCSA’s current compliance review (CR) program is resource-intensive and reaches only a small percentage of motor carriers. Consider the following:
Onsite CRs take one safety investigator an average of 3 to 4 days to complete and determine a motor carrier’s safety fitness.
At present staffing levels, FMCSA can perform CRs on only a small portion of the 700,000 active interstate motor carriers.
Current factors have made it increasingly difficult to make sustained improvements to motor carrier safety using existing programs and information systems.
Current FMCSA systems do not evaluate the safety fitness of individual commercial motor vehicle drivers. The FMCSA Large Truck Crash Causation Study clearly indicates that increased attention should be given to drivers.
For these reasons FMCSA exploried ways through CSA to improve its current processes for monitoring and assessing the safety performance of motor carriers and drivers.
CSA Model

The new model developed an approach to assess the motor carrier safety performance of a larger segment of the motor carrier industry, while optimizing the use of resources. As noted above, under the CR model the Agency was unable to maximize its current resources to its fullest. CSA was designed to help FMCSA affect a larger number of motor carriers and drivers using a broader array of compliance interventions.

The operational model for CSA measures safety performance and compliance, determines safety fitness, recommends interventions, applies interventions, and tracks and evaluates safety improvements for FMCSA-regulated entities. The model continuously evaluates and monitors regulated entities’ compliance and safety performance. It is significantly different from the Agency’s SafeStat operational model in that safety fitness determination made under CSA could be independent of the compliance review. Instead, safety fitness determination would be based on performance data and could lead to a broader array of compliance interventions.
BASICs

A major element of the model is COMPASS, FMCSA’s information technology modernization initiative. This model utomatically categorizes data into behavior areas, or Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). BASICs represent behaviors that lead to or increase the consequences of crashes. Rather than relying solely on the results of a compliance review, FMCSA uses motor carrier or driver performance data in the identified behavioral areas to determine safety fitness.
BASICs include:
Unsafe Driving — Dangerous or careless operation of commercial motor vehicles. Data would include driver traffic violations and convictions for speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, inattention, and other unsafe driving behavior.
Fatigued Driving — Driving commercial motor vehicles when fatigued. This would be distinguished from incidents where unconsciousness or an inability to react is brought about by the use of alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances. Data would include (1) hours-of-service violations discovered during an off-site investigation, on-site investigation, roadside inspection, or post-crash inspection, and (2) crash reports with driver fatigue as a contributing factor.
Driver Fitness— Operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) by drivers who are unfit to operate a CMV due to lack of training, experience, or medical qualification. Data would include (1) inspection violations for failure to have a valid and appropriate commercial driver's license, or medical or training documentation, (2) crash reports citing a lack of experience or medical reason as a cause or contributory factor, and (3) violations from an off-site investigation or an on-site investigation for failure to maintain proper driver qualification files, or use of unqualified drivers.
Controlled Substances and Alcohol — Operation of a CMV while impaired due to alcohol, illegal drugs, and misuse of prescription medications or over-the-counter medications. Data would include (1) roadside violations involving controlled substances or alcohol, (2) crash reports citing driver impairment or intoxication as a cause, (3) positive drug or alcohol test results on drivers, and (4) lack of appropriate testing or other deficiencies in motor carrier controlled substances and alcohol testing programs.
Vehicle Maintenance — CMV failure due to improper or inadequate maintenance. Data would include (1) roadside violations for brakes, lights, and other mechanical defects, (2) crash reports citing a mechanical failure as a contributing factor, or (3) violations from an off-site investigation or an on-site investigation associated with pre-trip inspections, maintenance records, and repair records.
Improper Loading/Cargo Securement — Shifting loads, spilled or dropped cargo, and unsafe handling of hazardous materials. Data would include (1) roadside inspection violations pertaining to load securement, cargo retention, and hazardous material handling, and (2) crash reports citing shifting loads, or spilled/dropped cargo as a cause or contributing factor.
Crash/Incident Experience — Histories or patterns of high crash involvement, including frequency and severity. Data would include law enforcement crash reports and crashes reported by the carrier and discovered during on-site investigations.
The interventions component of CSA identifies appropriate FMCSA interventions for regulated entities with specific safety problems, depending on the outcome of the measurement component. An intervention, as used in this context, refers to any action FMCSA would take to correct unsafe behavior and achieve safety compliance.



Compliance review

Part 385 Appendix A, Appendix B Part 385
When a carrier is selected for a compliance review (audit), the carrier is notified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that the audit will take place in a certain number of days. Usually, a carrier is given at least 48 hours advance notice. The 48 hour time frame does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or federal holidays.
In that 48 hour time frame, the carrier is expected to produce all paperwork requested by the FMCSA. This is a requirement of Sec. 390.29 of the FMCSRs.
Records a carrier will need to produce include:
Proof of financial responsibility;
Driver qualification files (including all required forms);
Drug and alcohol testing records (if applicable);
Records of duty status and supporting documents;
Driver vehicle inspection reports and maintenance records;
Hazardous materials records (if applicable); and
An accident register and copies of all accident reports required by state or other governmental entities or insurers.
The compliance review is based on Part 385 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Parts of the FMCSRs and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) having similar characteristics are combined together into five regulatory factors and an accident factor. The factors are:
Factor 1 General: Parts 387 and 390;
Factor 2 Driver: Parts 382, 383, and 391;
Factor 3 Operational: Parts 392 and 395;
Factor 4 Vehicle: Parts 393 and 396;
Factor 5 Hazmat.: Parts 397, 171, 177, and 180; and
Factor 6 Accident Factor: Recordable Rate.
Certain regulations are considered acute with others considered critical.
Acute regulations

Noncompliance with a single acute regulation is considered a serious violation. Noncompliance is so severe that it requires immediate corrective actions by a motor carrier. For each instance of noncompliance with an acute regulation during a compliance review, 1.5 points will be assessed to that safety rating factor.
Critical regulations

Critical regulations are identified as those where noncompliance relates to a breakdown in a carrier's management controls. For each pattern of noncompliance with a critical regulation during a compliance review, one point will be assessed to that safety rating factor.
There is an exception however. For each pattern of noncompliance with a critical regulation relative to Part 395, Hours of Service of Drivers, two points will be assessed.
A pattern of noncompliance is considered more than one violation. When a number of documents are reviewed, the number of violations required to meet a pattern of noncompliance is equal to at least ten percent of those examined.
Safety rating

Each safety factor is then rated as follows:
Satisfactory: If the acute and/or critical = 0 points.
Conditional: If the acute and/or critical = 1 point.
Unsatisfactory: If the acute and/or critical = 2 or more points.
Once each of the six factors have been separately rated, the total number of conditional and unsatisfactory factors are added to determine the safety rating. The proposed safety rating will become effective 45 days after the date the notice of proposed safety rating is received by the motor carrier.



Compliance Review/Safestat System Versus CSA

The Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) is a model designed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to improve its safety compliance and enforcement programs. The former system for auditing motor carriers was identified as labor-intensive and inefficient — only a fraction of the motor carriers were ever audited. CSA helps FMCSA and its state partners contact more carriers and drivers, use improved data to better identify high-risk carriers and drivers, and apply a wider range of interventions to correct high-risk behavior.