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Myth-busting Needed Around CSA

csa misconceptions

Transportation Practice Leader, HNI

Now that CSA has been out for almost a year, do your drivers really fully understand how the system works?  It is a pretty good bet they have heard some of the myths perpetuated by truck stop lawyers.  These are some of the common misconceptions about the regulations, according to an August 2011 report from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI):

Myth: Traffic tickets/convictions are part of the FMCSA’s SMS calculations

Although 87.3% of drivers believe the above statement to be true, the data kept by the states (i.e. tickets, citations, written warnings, convictions) and the data that are kept in the SMS (ie. Violations from a roadside inspection or crash) are separate.

Myth: A trucking company inherits past violations from new hires.

77.5% of drivers incorrectly believe this to be true.  Carriers do not inherit any of a newly hired driver’s past violations: only those inspections that a driver receives while driving under a carrier’s authority can be applied to a carrier’s SMS record.

Myth: The FMCSA can revoke a CDL as a result of CSA.

CSA doesn’t give FMCSA the authority to remove drivers from their jobs and can’t be used to rate drivers or to revoke a CDL.  72.2% of drivers falsely believed this to be the case. 

Myth: CSA takes into account a driver’s personal vehicle record.

Tickets or warnings that CMV drivers receive while operating their personal vehicles do not count in the SMS, although 68.6% of drivers hold this misconception.

Myth: FMCSR’s have changed as a result of CSA.

58.5% of drivers believe this myth, but CSA has not changed any of the FMCSA regulations, however, the FMCSA is advocating for a future rule change to alter the carrier safety rating process for determining whether or not a carrier is unfit. 

The better a driver understands CSA and the regulations that are in place, the more likely they are to be able to follow the rules.  A quick myth-busting meeting may be a great investment in your drivers’ (and your company’s) future.

Topics: Transportation