FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2012-05-08
The new Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) enforcement program run by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was initiated in December 2010 to improve road safety. One major goal of the program is to keep unsafe drivers off the road — a strategy designed to save lives.
While the program is too new to boast major results, it is beginning to yield some safety improvements. According to CSA.com, the program’s new evaluation system is identifying unsafe carriers more effectively than before, which could significantly reduce motor vehicle accident rates. Coupled with technology, the CSA program is also driving a culture change among commercial trucking fleets.
CSA Program Changes Fleet Recruiting and Training
Technology tools and broad access to online information are helping many of the nation’s trucking companies recruit and hire with safety and CSA compliance in mind. “Driver qualification used to just be a process, but has become a leading thing,” said Xata spokesman Christian Schenk, in Truckinginfo.com. “Fleets are now looking at private sources of information outside what you get from the DOT or DMV on a specific driver.”
Some downloadable apps allow drivers to track their own CSA performance and others help companies identify driver candidates that meet their CSA goals. In fact, new automated, web-based programs can now make fleet recruiting, hiring and transitioning practically seamless. DriverManagement by TMW, for example, offers a system, customized to each fleet's processes and leads company recruiters through every step of the process — recruiting, validating, hiring and onboarding. Portland-based Compli has a stand-alone CSA product that integrates with FMCSA data in real-time and automatically manages inspection and violation data. Such careful scrutiny helps managers identify truck drivers who need retraining or disciplinary action.
Who Will Be in the Driver’s Seat?
Will a driver-centered rating system evolve from this mountain of safety data? In a story in Truckinginfo.com, Jim Angel, a senior product specialist with PeopleNet predicts a type of "free agency" for drivers based on CSA ratings, with the highest wages going to the safest drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your situation and determine your options.