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Temporary Crash Accountability to be Exercised in CSA Program

by Anna Mischke | Aug 04, 2017

Customer News 080417One of the trucking industry’s major complaints with the Compliance Safety and Accountability (CSA) safety rating program is finally being addressed. The CSA will begin to allow carriers to dispute crashes counted against them, and have the opportunity to remove those considered non-preventable.

In 2015, the FMCSA’s Chief Safety Officer, Jack Van Steenburg, told fleet managers and executives that “It’s not fair to the industry…We recognize we have to do something for the industry.”

A two year program was introduced during a conference call with the press on July 7th. There is no definite start date for the program, which will include a public comment period of 60 days that are meant to help the agency shape the program. The test will allow owner-operators and fleets to utilize the CSA DataQs system to contest crashes which will be reviewed. If the dispute is approved, the crash would be removed from the carrier’s Crash Indicator BASIC in the CSA Safety Measurement System.

Four crash types will be included in the trial program: 1) struck by a motorist driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, 2) hit by a motorist driving in the wrong direction, 3) struck in the rear, or 4) while legally stopped or parked. Other types of crashes such as suicide by truck and animal strikes may be added to the list of non-preventable crashes.

The pilot program arrives 18 months after the FMCSA deemed that crash accountability would not help improve the DOT’s ability to pinpoint carriers at risk for crashes, and would not improve carriers’ BASIC scores and lack uniformity from state to state while posing implementation difficulties and cost risks. The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) delivered a report in 2015 opposing the FMCSA’s findings and found that scores would indeed improve with crash accountability factored in.

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