CSA Report Cards: Are We Safer Now From Big Rig Semi Truck Crashes?


CSA Report Cards: Are We Safer Now From Big Rig Semi Truck Crashes?

Four years ago, the federal government replaced its old system for finding dangerous commercial vehicles on American roads (called “SafeStat”) with a new system, called “CSA 2010” or just “CSA.” This new system is supposed to help the authorities find and stop high risk and unsafe commercial vehicles before they cause serious or deadly crashes on the road.

As part of the CSA, roadside inspections as well as crash site data are used to try and locate dangerous motor carriers along with other sources. Hours of service (HOS) requirements were changed, and other industry rules and regulations were implemented as well.

So, after all the changes have been made and all the litigation has been concluded to halt the CSA from being implemented, what’s the result?

 

Two reports have been issued in the past few months that review the impact of the new trucking industry safety regulations, the CSA.

[ For details on what the CSA does, check out our earlier posts including:  CSA: New FMCSA Regulations for Safety Measurement System Start This Month for Commercial Buses and Trucks (Semis, Big Rigs, 18-Wheelers, Tractor Trailer).]

FMCSA Review of CSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published its report on how the new trucking safety regulations are impacting truck traffic safety after implementation. According to FMCSA, things are better under the new system because at-risk and dangerous carriers are found easier now than before, under the old system (”SafeStat”).

One big help, according to FMCSA: the new regulations put more pressure upon trucking companies to bring their drivers into compliance internally as part of their company operations.

Go online to read the complete FMCSA report, “The Carrier Safety Measurement System (CSMS) Effectiveness Test by Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs)”.

GAO Review of CSA

The independent agency that audits federal agencies and reports to the Legislative Branch, the Government Accountability Office, released its own report on how things were going with the CSA regulations. According to the GAO report, the new system does not do enough to determine the risk of serious accidents in the future for either commercial trucks or for commercial buses (motorcoaches).

To read the complete GAO report, “FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY – Modifying the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Program Would Improve the Ability to Identify High Risk Carriers“ go here.

What Does This Mean?

These reports are monitoring how successful the increased safety standards imposed on the big rig, tractor trailer type trucks rumbling along the roads alongside our families and friends really are. It’s important to know if doing things like boosting the amount of time a commercial truck driver has to rest between driving long stretches on the road are helping keep all of us safer. It’s also vital to make sure that trucking companies and truckers are complying with the new safety requirements as they should be.

Is everything running perfectly? No.

However, the goal is to lessen the danger of deadly crashes involving these heavy trucks and FMCSA is committed to tweaking things as need be to make sure our roads are as safe as they can be.

For those of us who drive along roadways like the Borman Expressway, knowing that the CSA Safety Measurement System is in place and safety is a priority among regulators can be very comforting as those steel mill big rigs zip past.

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