Today, the FMCSA announced it was making “improvements” to the CSA system, following public input. The changes will impact HazMat carriers, address speeding violations and much more.
“The public is already seeing improved commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety under CSA. In its first year, 30 million visits were made to the Agency’s SMS Website, and violations per roadside inspection were down 8% and driver violations per inspection were down 10% — the most dramatic drop in safety violations in a decade,” the announcement boasted.
The SMS improvements include:
Strengthening the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC by incorporating cargo/load securement violations from today’s Cargo-Related BASIC
Changing the Cargo-Related BASIC to the HM Compliance BASIC to better identify HM-related safety and compliance problems.
- The HM Compliance BASIC will identify carriers with higher HM violation rates (33.8% versus 29.1%) and HM out-of-service rates (5.4% vs. 4.0%) than the current Cargo-Related BASIC.
- The HM Compliance BASIC will be available only to logged-in motor carriers and enforcement personnel in December 2012. Further examination of this BASIC will take place over the next year before it becomes available to the public.
Better aligning the SMS with Intermodal Equipment Provider (IEP) regulations
Aligning violations that are included in the SMS with Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance inspection levels by eliminating vehicle violations derived from driver-only inspections and driver violations from vehicle-only inspections
More accurately identifying carriers that transport significant quantities of HM
- The definition of carriers subject to the lower HM Intervention threshold is being revised in December to better ensure the carriers are hauling placardable quantities of HM on a more regular basis before being subject to the more stringent intervention thresholds.
Modifying the SMS display
FMCSA is responding to feedback from enforcement and industry to change how fatalities and injuries caused by crashes are presented in SMS, and to stakeholder requests for more specific terminology in the BASICs. In the package of enhancements being previewed, the SMS display has been modified to:
- Change current terminology, “inconclusive” and “insufficient data,” to fact-based descriptions. Fact-based descriptions are easier for stakeholders to understand and interpret and will enable them to take more effective and targeted actions to improve safety.
- Separate crashes with injuries from crashes with fatalities. This eliminates a potentially misleading interpretation that a carrier has more fatalities than it actually does.
In addition, four additional changes have been identified since the beginning of the preview period that will also be implemented in December. These are described in the August 2012 Federal Register Notice and are outlined below:
- Removing 1 to 5 mph speeding violations
- FMCSA has aligned speeding violations to be consistent with current speedometer regulations (49 CFR 393.82) that require speedometers to be accurate within 5 mph.
- Applies to the prior 24 months of data used by SMS and all SMS data moving forward.
- Lowering the severity weight for speeding violations that do not designate MPH range above the speed limit.
- The severity weight will be lowered to 1 for violations.
- Aligning paper and electronic logbook violations
- FMCSA will equally weight paper and electronic logbook violations in SMS for consistency purposes.
- Changing the name of the Fatigued Driving (Hours-of-Service (HOS)) BASIC to the HOS Compliance BASIC
- This BASIC continues to have a strong association with future crash risk. This action is being taken to reflect that the BASIC includes hours of service recordkeeping requirements that, by themselves, do not necessarily indicate fatigued driving or driving in excess of allowable hours.
For a complete list of all the proposed enhancements, visit the FMCSA site by following this link.
The changes will be implemented December 2012.