FMCSA to keep CSA cargo scores private

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said it will not publish scores for the cargo-related behavior analysis and safety improvement category (BASIC) of the new Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010) safety program, withholding them from public view on the agency’s website until it can craft a more accurate methodology for reporting them

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said it will not publish scores for the cargo-related behavior analysis and safety improvement category (BASIC) of the new Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010) safety program, withholding them from public view on the agency’s website until it can craft a more accurate methodology for reporting them.

This is good news for the trucking industry on several fronts, according to Rob Abbott, vp-safety policy for the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

“Starting in December, these BASIC scores are going to be used by shippers, brokers, insurance carriers, and potentially juries to make judgments about the ‘safety fitness’ of carriers,” he told FleetOwner. “So it is critical that the scoring methodology be accurate.”

The cargo-related BASIC measures a motor carrier’s compliance with load securement procedures, as well as a host of hazardous materials requirements. ATA said it identified the cargo-related BASIC as a component of the FMCSA’s CSA 2010 program that needed additional work and recently met with FMCSA to present evidence demonstrating that the scores in this category do not accurately reflect carrier safety performance

“The problem was that certain violations that counted within the cargo BASIC were not safety-related, with others being weighted in ways that didn’t allow for relative comparison across the spectrum of trucking carriers,” Abbott said. “We wanted to make sure that the scores in this category accurately reflected carrier safety performance.”

“We continue to support the objectives of CSA 2010 and are pleased with the agency’s decision to continue working on its cargo-related BASIC to get it right before it’s made public,” added Bill Graves, ATA’s president and CEO

ATA added that it’s also pleased that FMCSA has decided to replace the term “deficient” with “alert” on its public website, and to include pop-up disclaimer language alerting users about the intent of the scores, and cautioning against misuse.

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