The changing face of CSA 2010

csa 2010 updatesIf there’s one thing you can be sure of with compliance is that it will always be a constantly moving target.

The FMCSA announced, just days ago, of further “tweaking” of the CSA guidelines particularly around the cargo safety category (the C in BASIC). Apparently it was disproportionately weighted against certain segments of the industry.

Other changes included:

  • Change the term “Deficient” to “Alert” when a motor carrier’s score in one or more BASICs is above the FMCSA threshold for intervention.
  • Change the highlight color from red to orange.
  • Improve the language to clarify that BASIC results signify the carrier is prioritized for an FMCSA intervention.

More than just a wording change

The update highlights that CSA 2010 is more about highlighting safety issues instead of a ‘shoot first, ask later’ approach. Where thresholds are exceeded carriers will now realize that they haven’t necessarily done something wrong; they just need to pay attention to a particular area before it becomes a problem.

The FMCSA realized the wording was potentially misleading, implying that the carrier had already failed a safety fitness determination; however the process was more about highlighting those carriers prioritized for FMCSA intervention, where SFD could be determined for certain.

Cargo carriers breathing easier

While CSA 2010 is fine for some industries others found the severity weighting of some safety violations too harsh, and the FMCSA SMEs agreed. Thus scorings for certain cargo-related areas were scaled back to reduce the compliance load (pardon the pun) for carriers.

The change, or “recalibration”, highlights something that law-makers will always struggle with: one size doesn’t fit all. This despite CSA 2010 has been touted as being far more flexible than the previous SafeStat system.

As an interesting aside, one observant trucker noted that the article on the DOT website illustrated a load that would probably get ticketed (image shown above). Maybe it would help if they led by example?

Keep up to date with changes

This wasn’t the first update to CSA 2010 and it’s unlikely to be the last. We will be aiming to keep abreast of updates as they happen so make you subscribe to our RSS feed, or subscribe to the CSA RSS feed or email list.

FMCSA will continue to monitor the implementation of CSA 2010 to make sure it achieves its aims of safer fleets and a reduction in the crash rate. The only way it can do that is to make sure it has all carriers on board and supporting the spirit of what CSA is trying to accomplish.

And that means we can expect more updates and tweaking to CSA 2010 over the coming months as fleets affected adjust to the change.

If you’re one of the fleets impacted by CSA 2010 how are you coping with the change? Is it a big upheaval? Some fleet managers are saying it doesn’t mean much of a change for them at all, that it’s the same compliance issues they were dealing with, just dressed up in different clothes. Do you agree?

ps Drivers – Prepare for CSA 2010 with this simple 5-point system