The main goal of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is to prevent crashes, injuries, and fatalities related to commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) operating in the United States. In December 2010, the FMCSA launched the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. This data-driven safety and compliance enforcement program was designed to improve safety while preventing accidents involving CMVs.
The Impact of the FAST Act on Trucking
In December 2015, President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation
Act (FAST Act) - a five-year funding and authorization bill that governs federal surface transportation spending in the United States.
The major highlight of this bill for the trucking industry was the impact on the CSA program.
As required by the FAST Act, the FMCSA removed carrier CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) On-Road Safety Performance Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICS) from public view. Before detailed scores can be made accessible again, the FMCSA must present a corrective action plan to improve the CSA program (within a maximum of 18 months from the bill publication date).
Your CSA Score Still Matters - A LOT
Just because the scores aren’t public anymore, doesn’t mean you can just forget about them. Your CSA score is still very important although the general consensus is that the removal from public view has little impact on the industry. Motor carriers and law enforcement still have access to these percentile rankings and continue to issue interventions (including warning letters and investigations) in partnership with the FMCSA and State Partners.
A strong CSA score is vital for everyone involved in your operations. Carriers with better scores typically:
- Get More Jobs - Customers want to do business with carriers that have displayed a commitment to compliance and safety
- Get Audited and Inspected Less - The DOT is more likely to audit someone with a bad score than someone with a good score
- Get Lower Insurances Rates - A clean record will allow you to save thousands a year on insurance
- Get Better Drivers - Drivers want to work for carriers that have a good reputation
Start Improving Your Score Today
Achieving and maintaining a good CSA score should be at the top of your priority list and integrated into your overall business strategy. Confused about what makes up your CSA score? Take a look at this blog post from last year where we dive into the specifics.
Here are a couple ways you can work towards improving your score:
- Train Your Drivers - Many violations and issues are caused due to driver negligence as a result of poor or no training. Provide your drivers with opportunities to become educated on laws and mandates that impact operations. BigRoad has an excellent resources section to help you get started
- Switch to Electronic Logs - If you’re not
using electronic logs (eLogs) yet, it’s time
to get onboard! eLogs, such as the FREE BigRoad Mobile App, allow drivers to create clean, inspectable, and error free logs while accurately tracking hours of service (HOS) rules and eliminating form and manner issues that increase roadside risk.
- Perform Regular Vehicle Maintenance - The FMCSA requires that drivers complete driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs). With the BigRoad Mobile App, drivers can easily complete their DVIR in just a few taps!
The easiest (and fastest) way to start seeing improvements is to transition drivers to electronic logging devices (ELDs). An ELD connects to the CMV’s engine and automatically records data, making it easy for drivers to accurately track HOS compliance. With the release of the ELD mandate, many fleets are opting to make the transition now to reap the many benefits of ELDs including decreasing fuel costs, reducing paperwork, and virtually eliminating violations that were associated with paper logs and driver negligence.
Ready to make the move to ELD?
BigRoad’s got you covered with DashLink - our ELD-ready upgrade for the BigRoad Mobile App. You’ll never have to make another ELD purchasing decision again! Get started today with DashLink and we guarantee full ELD compliance, at no extra cost to you, well before December 2017! Request a demo and see DashLink in action!