How does CSA 2010 define Truck Driver Fitness?
As more and more drivers (and carriers) become aware of the looming implementation of CSA 2010 and its potential impact on the industry, more and more misinformation and confusion seems to be ensuing (not from our blog of course).
As previously mentioned, Driver Fitness is one of seven (7) BASIC’s in CSA 2010 that replace the four SEA’s in SafeStat. Driver Fitness does not refer to physical fitness. Contrary to rumor, it has nothing to do with separate proposed rules regarding Body Mass Index (BMI), neck size and other predictors of Sleep Apnea and the need for a sleep study before being qualified or re-qualified medically.
Driver Fitness has everything to do with the pre-employment actions of the carrier. The Driver Fitness BASIC focuses on Parts 383 and 391 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). Carriers must be certain to comply with:
1) the single license provisions by checking for multiple licenses
2) driver conviction and suspension notification provisions by ensuring drivers are notifying the carrier and state of licensing
3) previous employment verification provisions
4) driver skills provisions by determining drivers possess the necessary skills to do the job
5) driver licensing provisions by ensuring drivers are properly licensed (including endorsements) and carry their license with them
Other provisions include:
6) evidence of medical and physical qualifications to drive
7) ability to speak and read English
8) evidence of an annual certification of violations
9) evidence of a road test or other determination of driving ability
10) a complete application
11) a valid medical certificate
Carriers must be careful to review all physicals to ensure a doctor hasn’t overlooked a disqualifying condition (i.e. insulin-dependent diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, eyesight, etc.). It is for this reason alone that carriers would be well-served by permitting physicals by only company-approved doctors or clinics knowledgeable in the regulations. Carriers, not doctors, are accountable to the FMCSA for unqualified drivers.
None of these provisions are new. They have all been in the regulations for years. Under CSA 2010 however, these items (if noted on a roadside inspection) are some of the most serious violations and weighted accordingly. While they may not have impacted a carriers’ SafeStat score (if they were not an out-of-service violation) they will impact your CSA 2010 score since all violations detected result in points.
Driver fitness is a high priority under CSA 2010 due to documented correlations between these fitness criteria and driver crash involvement.
Posted by Kevin Mullen: Director- Safety, ADS Logistics Co, LLC.