How Does the CSA Affect Drivers and Carriers?
If you are not considering getting to know Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA), you should be. This is a program created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in order to decrease the number of accidents that lead to injuries and deaths on the road.
The carriers that will be held to the standards of the CSA are those that travel from one state to another and weigh more than 10,000 pounds. In addition, those that carry hazardous substances throughout a state are also affected.
What Do You Need to Know?
This program will keep track of the driving history of a carrier’s drivers in a Safety Measurement System (SMS) record. The point of this record is to:
- Identify drivers who could benefit from some help driving safer.
- Monitor the progress of targeted drivers after invention to increase safety.
- Keep track of carriers that display the most dangerous driving habits overall.
A driver’s history within the SMS will be kept on file for up two years, even if he or she no longer works with the same carrier as before.
However, when a carrier hires a new driver, his or her past violations will not be on the SMS of the carrier. In addition, when drivers receive citations for speeding or other violations in their own personal car, the transgressions do not go on the carrier’s SMS record. Therefore, these rules can help encourage carriers to keep their drivers safe at all times when they are under their authority.
Should You Be Concerned?
The reason for the CSA is to make sure drivers are safe on the road, and that carriers are held responsible for the performance of their employees. The rules are not meant to punish either drivers or carriers.
In fact, the FMCSA cannot terminate drivers, as only carriers can do that. It also cannot take away a commercial driver’s licenses, since only the state can do that. In this way, the CSA was not developed to take away anyone’s rights, jobs, or employees.
Furthermore, many carriers may find the record idea quite convenient since it can be checked out when hiring. Drivers who have agreed to allow carriers to look at their record may end up getting a job if they have a clean history, and carriers can end up with safe drivers.
Those concerned about the negative effects the CSA may have on drivers and carriers alike should know that any mistakes on the SMS can be reviewed by request. This reduces the chance of errors affecting anyone in a negative way.
In summary, the focus of CSA is on the following:
- Reckless driving
- Fatigued driving
- Impairment from alcohol or drugs
- Truck maintenance
- Unfit driving
- Improper handling of cargo