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Vigillo: Truck drivers need to see their CSA safety data

Feb. 16, 2011
The ongoing implementation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admin.’s (FMCSA) Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program is designed to tie fleets, drivers, and shippers/brokers more tightly together to improve trucking safety performance

The ongoing implementation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admin.’s (FMCSA) Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program is designed to tie fleets, drivers, and shippers/brokers more tightly together to improve trucking safety performance. Yet a critical piece of this new safety net is withheld from truck drivers, according to Steve Bryan, CEO of software system developer Vigillo: the ability for drivers to see their CSA scores.

Without access to this data, Bryan believes, drivers can’t benchmark their safety performance and are left without a means to measure either improvement or declines in said performance over time.

“The government has essentially created a system to ‘score’ the safety performance of truck drivers, but keeps that data to themselves until it’s time to go ‘get’ the driver for safety violations,” he explained in an interview with Fleet Owner. “We think that the driver should get access to their [CSA] scores along with tools to help them get better.”

That philosophy is what drove Vigillo to develop what it calls Roadside Resume – a driver CSA scorecard progra , which it released in December. It’s based on three years of violation history and up to five current and past CDL numbers. Information is included from carriers that are Vigillo CSA Scorecard subscribers or from the newly created category of affiliate members of the Vigillo Network, which are companies that have elected to provide this information.

“FMCSA does not have a mechanism that allows drivers to access their scores and see where they have safety deficiencies,” Bryan pointed out. “Roadside Resume provides that information in a free report at anytime to any driver holding a commercial driver’s license.”

Offering such CSA information for free to drivers is the important piece here, he emphasized, and it requires fleets to opt into the service by agreeing to release their driver CSA data. Yet Bryan believes that without any knowledge concerning their CSA scores, truck drivers won’t know where they are deficient according to federal standards, nor how to make changes and improvements to their scores.

“Making this information free to the drivers also encourages them to check their scores far more frequently to monitor the impact of corrections and their overall progress,” he said. “The whole point is to use this accumulated store of information to help drivers improve their behaviors out on the road – which is the entire point of CSA to begin with.”

According to Bert Mayo, vp of fleet risk control for Lockton Companies, finding ways to improve all the metrics that go into calculating overall CSA scores is crucial for fleets of all sizes.

“All of the seven behavior analysis and safety improvement categories (BASICs) are equally important for determining a fleet's overall safety profile,” said Mayo in a speech at the recent Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week trade show .. “And nearly all CSA information is public. Anyone with a computer, such as potential customers, competitors, plaintiff attorneys, insurance underwriters and the general public will be able to access it.”

Vigillo’s Bryan advised that while Vigillo’s Roadside Resume is “live” on the Internet, it remains very much a :bare bones” construction and the company hopes to completely revamp it over the next month.

“We also need more drivers to participate in the system so we can establish better safety ‘trend lines’ as well,” he added. “Right now we’ve got 750,000 drivers in our database and we hope to double that by the end of this year.”

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean previously reported and commented on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry. Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

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