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CSA Score Basics – Purpose, Measurement, Concerns

CSA Score Basics

 What is the purpose of CSA?

Compliance, Safety & Accountability (CSA) is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) safety program designed to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes. The program is an enforcement and compliance model that allows the FMCSA and States to contact a larger number of carriers earlier in order to address safety deficiencies before crashes occur.

How does CSA work?

The FMCSA publishes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Based upon these regulations, the CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) measures and scores two years of a carrier’s roadside violation and crash data. Every inspection counts, not just out-of-service violations, and both driver and carrier safety performance are monitored. The information the FMCSA collects on each carrier is then published on a public website and updated monthly. Learn more

Should a Carrier be concerned about CSA scores?

Shippers, brokers, project managers, competitors, insurance companies, lawyers, and even the general public will all have access to a carrier’s scores and violation data. Good scores can lead to shippers seeking you out, project managers selecting your bid over a competitor, lower insurance rates, and prove a history of good safety practices. Bad scores can have the opposite effect. Most importantly, bad scores will single a carrier out for a DOT intervention costing the company thousands in fines and wasted time dealing with correcting the issues. Worst case, the intervention can lead to shutting down the trucks.

What should companies do to manage CSA?

  1. Education. Make sure you know what is involved in the CSA system, what is measured, how it’s measured, how often it’s measured.
  2. Best Practices. Establish practices that reduce the chance for violations. Driving habits, maintenance schedules, record keeping, and auditing all need to be addressed. Training and continuous re-training is the best method to keep everyone focused and using your best practices.
  3. Monitor your CSA Results. Every 30 days your most recent inspection data is added to the measurement system and your score recalculated. Good inspections help your score. Poor inspections hurt. You need to stay on top of what is happening and take corrective action quickly. Any incorrect data needs to be challenged and taken out of your score.