HNI Vice President
Considering the regulatory environment in which transportation firms do business is miles from black and white, it's no surprise that both truck drivers and enforcement personnel alike often are confused by the ins and outs of CSA and its relationship to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR).
In fact, the aggregated results of a short quiz on CSA — taken by both drivers and law enforcement personnel — demonstrated with data that the rules were escaping many in the transportation industry. (More on that later!)
The CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) safety measurement system replaced FMCSA's old system (SafeStat) in 2010. SafeStat often was criticized for only tracking select moving violations and for only IDing carriers for compliance reviews.
Strong Opinions about CSA
CSA's Safety Measurement System fixed those flaws, but that doesn't mean the system is without controversy from both drivers and motor carriers.
Since it went into effect, CSA has been blamed for forcing many truck drivers out of the industry because their safety records are poor under the new system. Similarly, some motor carriers have been labeled safety deficient under CSA just because of differences in assessment between CSA and SafeStat.
The trucking industry also has raised concern over the relationship between CSA scores and crash risk and disparate enforcement of violations across states.
The short story is that the transportation industry has objections over specific elements of the safety system and over its interpretation by various law enforcement.
Test Your CSA Knowledge
Because of this controversy, the American Transportation Research Institute surveyed truck drivers and law enforcement on their knowledge of CSA and how it relates to the FMCSRs and their opinions on the safety system to measure baseline knowledge.
Remember that quiz we alluded to? On the 14-question CSA knowledge quiz, drivers answered 5.94 items correctly, and law enforcement personnel answered 9.32 items correctly. A question over who has access to official CSA scores was trickiest for both drivers and law enforcement.
We invite you to test your CSA knowledge by taking the multiple choice ATRI quiz. Learning where your weak spots are will help your organization get more compliant and get back on the road faster. And please share this short quiz with everyone you know in trucking. It will make for good conversation (maybe even some friendly competition?) and an education!