CSA Mulls “Credits” for Good Inspections

by FOR

In early October, a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration official stated that FMCSA was exploring ways for motor carriers to receive credits to their Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) BASIC scores for positive screening or inspection outcomes, rather than just demerits for defects. The American Trucking Associations points out that “the reason it’s significant is that CSA scores are comparative, based on measures that are basically a ratio of the number of violations to the number of inspections.” There have been complaints from drivers that, if they are stopped for an inspection, and the officer finds no defects to record, the officer does not submit any paperwork, and the “positive” inspection has no impact on improving their score.

FMCSA’s associate administrator Bill Quade suggested that some change in policy might be forthcoming but not to expect action on “positive scoring” during the round of CSA changes scheduled for early 2013.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which represents safety and enforcement organizations (with some industry representation), suggests that FMCSA might consider means for fleets to improve their CSA scores, but it leans to imposition of training programs or agreement to adopt certain safety technologies, rather than credits derived from positive inspections.