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FMCSA CSA

**TIA Strategy for Reducing Vicarious Liability

**House Small Business Committee letter to Administrator Ferro 

10/28/2011

Thank you for taking the time to submit your question on CSA and drivers score.  FMCSA does not give driver's score.  The only driver data FMCSA releases is the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP).  PSP is a new FMCSA program mandated by Congress that is designed to assist the motor carrier industry in assessing individual operators' crash and serious safety violation history as a pre-employment condition. The program is voluntary and is not part of CSA. Motor carriers may request, through NIC Technologies, driver information for the purpose of pre-employment screening. The driver must provide written consent. Individual drivers may request their own driver information record at any time. The information will be retrieved from the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). MCMIS electronic profiles will contain five years of crash data and three years of inspection data including co-driver safety and post-crash violations, however, MCMIS will not include conviction data. There will be a fee for this service. People can enroll now at http://www.psp.fmcsa.dot.gov/Pages/Enroll.aspx. People who have additional questions about PSP can go to the PSP website and review the PSP FAQs (http://www.psp.fmcsa.dot.gov/Pages/FAQ.aspx), and/or visit the PSP 'Contact Us' page (http://www.psp.fmcsa.dot.gov/Pages/ContactUs.aspx).

Sometimes carrier will buy 3rd party software that will convert PSP data into a score and/or driver data that was acquired while the driver worked for the carrier into a score, but those scores come from the carrier and not all carrier's do this and those who do it don't necessarily do it the same way. 

Here is additional information on CSA, drivers, the new Driver Safety Measurement System (DSMS) data and the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP). The DSMS is a component of the overall SMS. At present the DSMS is simply a tool that enables law enforcement personnel to assess individual drivers in the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) using 36 months of roadside performance data, across employers. At this time, FMCSA will NOT use this system to assign formal safety ratings or Safety Fitness Determinations (SFDs) to individual drivers. This means FMCSA will not be removing any drivers from their job, only the State can do that as they do now.  DSMS does not impact the CDL.  Neither drivers nor employing motor carriers will have access to the DSMS. However, both drivers and employing motor carriers will have access to driver data through the Driver Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP). PSP differs from the DSMS in that it does not compare or assess driver inspection/crash performance. Instead, it provides a list of crash and inspection activity associated with the driver over the previous 3 years of inspections and 5 years of crashes.   FMCSA does not address drivers the same way it addresses carriers today, nor will it under CSA. While carriers are prioritized for intervention based on the SMS, drivers are only investigated during a carrier investigation. Therefore, no Intervention Thresholds are in place for drivers.  Some carriers may choose to evaluate their drivers differently based on how they are being evaluated.  To know more about how carriers are being evaluated check out the SMS Methodology and appendix  A of the SMS Methodology which shows how many severity points each violation is worth in SMS (http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMS/HelpFiles/SMSMethodology.pdf).

Safety Investigators (SIs) look at driver history when investigating a carrier; specifically, they are looking for egregious violations of FMCSA’s safety regulations by drivers. These violations are sometimes referred to as Red Flag Violations, which are driver violations that are, by design, always investigated as part of a carrier investigation. The Safety Investigator (SI) looks to see if the violation has been corrected. At present, there are 12 such violations, though this list may be updated periodically. These are outlined in the table below, along with the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) to which they correspond. 

BASIC

Part

Violation Description

Driver Fitness

383.21

Operating a CMV with more than one driver's license

Driver Fitness

383.23(a)(2)

Operating a CMV without a valid CDL

Driver Fitness

383.51(a)

Driving a CMV (CDL) while disqualified

Driver Fitness

383.91(a)

Operating a CMV with improper CDL group

Driver Fitness

391.11

Unqualified driver

Driver Fitness

391.11(b)(5)

Driver lacking valid license for type vehicle being operated

Driver Fitness

391.11(b)(7)

Driver disqualified from operating CMV

Driver Fitness

391.15(a)

Driving a CMV while disqualified

Controlled Substances/Alcohol

392.4(a)

Driver uses or is in possession of drugs

Controlled Substances/Alcohol

392.5(a)

Possession/use/under influence alcohol-4hrs prior to duty

Fatigued Driving (HOS)

395.13(d)

Driving after being declared out-of-service

Vehicle Maintenance

396.9(c)(2)

Operating an Out-Of-Service (OOS) vehicle

Any driver violations identified and addressed during carrier investigations that are not corrected may result in a driver Notice of Violation (NOV) or Notice of Claim (NOC). These are the only driver interventions at this time. Carriers and the public are not informed about driver interventions. Drivers will be notified by mail and may be contacted by a FMCSA investigator. 

For additional information on drivers and CSA check out the CSA drivers webpage here:  http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/yourrole/drivers.aspx.

Carriers looking to improve their Safety Measurement System BASIC percentile ranks should read the information "What a Motor Carrier do to Improve" section of the information center located here:  http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMS/InfoCenter/Default.aspx.  There are numerous tips that will help carriers with improving their SMS percentile ranks and help drivers avoid crashes and violations.

I recommend you keep up with the latest information on CSA as it becomes available by signing up for the email subscription service or RSS feed. You can do this on the CSA website http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/stay_connected.aspx. I hope this answers your question, feel free to contact me if you have additional questions. 

8/3/2011

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently took another step towards improving safety through its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. In the August 3, 2011 Safety Measurement System (SMS) release, FMCSA refined the criteria that determines which motor carriers are subject to the more stringent Hazardous Materials (HM) intervention threshold. This improvement, which was made after several months of careful monitoring and listening to industry and enforcement safety professionals, allows FMCSA to more accurately identify those motor carriers that transport placardable quantities of HM and thereby ensures that enforcement resources are deployed as effectively and efficiently as possible.

CSA’s SMS assesses 24 months of motor carriers’ safety performance information (inspections and investigations) by seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). The seven BASICs are Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving (Hours-of-Service), Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Vehicle Maintenance, Cargo-Related, and Crash Indicator. Every month FMCSA updates motor carriers’ percentiles in each BASIC and motor carriers with BASIC percentiles above the FMCSA threshold are prioritized for an FMCSA intervention. Motor carriers that transport placardable quantities of HM are subject to more stringent BASIC thresholds because of the higher safety risk placardable HM pose to the public in the event of a crash or a spill.

Previously, the HM intervention threshold was applied to motor carriers based solely on their registration information indicating they transported any quantity of HM. This resulted in some motor carriers being subjected to the lower HM threshold that in fact were not carrying placardable quantities of HM, and conversely, resulted in some carriers not being subjected to the lower HM threshold that should have been. The HM intervention threshold now applies to motor carriers that transport placardable quantities of HM based on operational evidence. These are motor carriers that meet one of the following criteria:

  • Inspection in the last 24 months where the motor carrier was identified as carrying placardable quantity of HM
  • Review or safety audit in the last 24 months where the motor carrier was identified as carrying placardable quantity of HM
  • Motor carrier has a HM permit

For more detailed information on the HM regulations and how to comply with them, motor carriers should visit FMCSA’s Website at the following link: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/hazmat/complyhmregs.htm#hm

How Can a Motor Carrier Learn about Its Status Regarding this Change?

Motor carriers should:

  1. Go to the SMS Website at http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms.
  2. Enter their U.S. DOT or MC number on the right-hand side of the page.
  3. Scroll down to the registration information at the bottom of the page.
  4. View the item entitled “Subject to Placardable Hazardous Material Threshold” where they will see either a “Yes” or a “No.”
  5. If the answer is “Yes,” motor carriers can click on the link where a table will outline why the motor carrier is assessed using the placardable HM threshold.

TIA Director of Policy Nancy O’Liddy and TIA Board Member and Chair of the Carrier Selection Committee Jeff Tucker were both influential in working with FMCSA to have these changes made and are working on further changes in the near future.

If you have any questions please contact Nancy O’Liddy at oliddy@tianet.org or 703-299-5711.