Truck Drivers Do Not Understand CSA 2010 – Even Though It’s The Law Now

Truck Drivers Do Not Understand CSA 2010 – Even Though It’s The Law Now

CSA 2010 is not news anymore.   The Compliance, Safety, Accountability program – or “CSA” – was a federally mandated overhaul of safety regulations for motor carriers driving on American roadways that was implemented across the country awhile back, in stages (region by region).

Instituted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), its goal is to increase the safety of both large commercial trucks (e.g., big rigs, semis, tractor-trailers) as well as commercial buses (think Greyhound or Trailways) so there will be less crashes and accidents and therefore, less serious injury and wrongful death involving commercial motor vehicles.

As we discussed back in January 2010, CSA 2010 expanded the current Safestat safety rating system where trucking companies are regulated in four categories (Driver, Vehicle, Safety Management, and Accident) to the new CSA system of seven (Unsafe Driving; Fatigued Driving; Driver Fitness; Controlled Substance and Alcohol; Vehicle Maintenance; Improper Loading/Cargo Securement; and Crash Indicator). (For more details, please read our prior post, “CSA 2010 – Saving Lives or Killing Businesses? Depends Upon Who You Ask.“)

CSA 2010 was a joint project undertaken by FMCSA and the various state regulatory agencies (e.g., Indiana and Illinois transportation agencies) that debuted in December 2010. As FMCSA describes it, CSA 2010 is a “…new nationwide system for making the roads safer for motor carriers and the public alike.”

Which suggests that the drivers of those large commercial trucks and commercial buses should have been instructed on the details of this “new nationwide system for making the roads safer” and that more than any other person on the roads, these drivers should know the details of CSA 2010. Right? Wrong.

New Study Reveals that American Truck Drivers Do Not Understand CSA 2010 Regulations

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has just released a report that investigated how CSA 2010 has changed the lives of commercial drivers. Lots of truck drivers were questioned by ATRI: the data in the report has been provided by 4,555 American truck drivers.  That’s a pretty big bunch.

Here’s what ATRI is reporting:  even today, after all the CSA 2010 hoopla on whether or not it should be passed, and after that, all the hurdles of getting CSA 2010 implemented, state by state, truck drivers still DO NOT KNOW what CSA is all about. And around 2/3 of these drivers are scared that they will get fired if they admit it to their employers.

From the ATRI news release, this quote from Ed Crowell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Georgia Motor Trucking Association:

“ATRI’s study clearly points out that motor carriers, state trucking associations and FMCSA collectively need to do more to educate drivers about CSA and what it does and doesn’t mean for their jobs.”

Exactly. One has to wonder how effective this hard-won change in safety standards can be, if the men and women operating these big machines do not know what’s what regarding these safety standards.  One also has to wonder who’s responsible for these drivers not being informed – whose duty is it to educate their employees (hint, hint) about these new standards?

Be careful out there!

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