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Driving Away the Drivers Could CSA 2010 push drivers from the industry?

BY STEVE BRAWNER ContributingWriter

Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010

begins to take effect nationwide at the end of this year, with one possible result being a reduction in the available driver pool. Whether that’s a good thing, a bad thing, or something in between remains to be seen. Montana has been one of nine pilot

states involved in the rollout of CSA 2010, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration’s enforcement mechanism that is taking the place of SafeStat. Under development since 2005, CSA

2010 determines a carrier’s safety rating based on seven behavior analysis and safety improvement categories, or BASICs, that include unsafe driving, cargo-related problems, and frequency and severity of crash involvement. It’s designed to reduce large truck and bus crashes while more efficiently using the agency’s limited resources. It also can be very useful for trucking

companies. Its Pre-Employment Screening Program, which contains five years of a driver’s crash data and three years of roadside inspections, is available to help spot job-hopping drivers with unsafe records. That’s a major advantage compared to

SafeStat, according to Stacey Hemming, safety director of Whitewood Transport. “I’m looking forward to that, and it’s

going to be a great screening tool. People will be able to glean more information about the driver’s history that they’ve never had before,” she said. “Especially right now when there are more drivers out there trying to find a job, that you’ll be able to pick and choose and hire better qualified drivers.” Used wisely, that information can weed

unsafe drivers out of the system, resulting in a smaller driver pool that responsible trucking companies can live with. Unfortunately, not all of that data will

be based on good information. As currently ROADWISE | JUNE 2010 |

constituted, CSA 2010 doesn’t differentiate between preventable and nonpreventable accidents. The agency argues that it is difficult to determine fault, especially with limited resources, and that it will consider crash preventability before undertaking a major compliance review of a company’s operations. Still, the “guilty even when innocent” quality doesn’t seem fair to

carriers or drivers. One Tennessee-based company’s driver has had four accidents: three while he was asleep while parked in a rest area and one when he was hit from behind at a stoplight. Dave Osiecki, the American Trucking

Associations’ senior vice president for policy and regulatory affairs, said in a May speech before the Arkansas Trucking Association


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