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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

FMCSA to Test More CSA Changes: Cargo Securement, Hazmat Affected

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing to drop the Cargo Securement BASIC and add a Hazmat BASIC to the SMS database it uses in its CSA safety monitoring program.

Another proposed change addresses enforcement officials who perform a driver-only inspection yet add vehicle violations to the report. Going forward, only driver violations will be reflected in CSA scores as a result of driver-only inspections. And driver violations will not be included in vehicle-only inspections.

FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro made the announcements at the Mid-America Trucking Show yesterday, according to Heavy Duty Trucking.

Next week carriers will get a chance to preview their data under the changes to the SMS system. The preview and comment period will last two or three months before the agency makes a final decision.

Many of the elements of the Cargo Securement BASIC will shift to the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC, Ferro said, and CSA will now have a standalone hazmat BASIC.

Ferro said the change to the Cargo Securement BASIC because the agency wasn’t “confident in its clear association with [safety],” according to the report.

Ferro also addressed the recent controversy surrounding the agency’s decision to backtrack from a plan to develop a process where police accident reports would be reviewed to determine crash accountability and remove non-preventable crashes from a carrier’s CSA profile.

The American Trucking Association and other industry groups accused the agency of caving in to pressure from special interest groups.

Ferro said the agency changed its mind after certain members of the 19-member Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee raised questions about the reliability of using police reports as the determining factor in making assessments about non preventable crashes.

She also said the theory of isolating crash data to only preventable crashes in order to allow the agency to focus more on higher-risk carriers, has not been put to the test.