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FROM THE HILL


that the FMCSA has been listening to the industry’s concerns and is planning to add a crash preventability element after if figures out how. But there are other aspects of CSA


2010 that don’t seem to accurately measure driver safety. Because it is difficult to determine cause-effect relationships between load securement violations and accidents, FMCSA has tended to assign all of them a high score. For example, failing to secure a load and failing to have a red flag on the load both score a “10,” the highest possible weight. Moreover, warnings are


given the same weight as actual violations, and there is no way to cleanse a driver’s record of a warning. In fact, Osiecki said that, in the nine pilot states where CSA 2010 has been in force, warnings are the reason that carriers are showing up on the FMCSA’s radar screen. The same data used to rate drivers


also will help FMCSA assign safety ratings to carriers. Those ratings will be publicly available to insurers and shippers, which will put pressure on companies to get rid of low-scoring drivers, even if those low scores aren’t entirely justified.


It remains to be seen if insurers will rely


heavily on FMCSA weightings that don’t take crash accountability into account. “In my hopeful side, I hope they won’t,”


said Cheri Stockert, who is in charge of driver and safety administration for Montana’s Diversified Transfer and Storage. “I think that, again, there might have to be some education. As a carrier, you do see that there is a lot of bad data out there, and as a carrier, we’re trying to get that bad data off of our drivers’ records. You have to hope other companies are doing that also, and that the insurance companies will give us at least a grace period to try to get some of the records made more accurate.” Stockert said that, since Montana


became a test state last June, she has been spending 15-20 percent more of her time cleaning up inspections and bad data. Despite its imperfections, in an


interview following a May speech to the Arkansas Trucking Association, FMCSA administrator Ann Ferro said the system won’t unfairly penalize safe drivers. “If you’re a good driver today, you’re a good driver under CSA 2010,” she said. “And ... just as the system, as CSA 2010 … focuses on intervention early, I would suggest companies do the same when they see a driver with a high-risk BASIC. Intervene early; take remedial action. I mean, I don’t think anyone can afford to lose drivers who can be improved.” In her speech, Ferro said that CSA 2010


will lead to more targeted enforcement measures. “It helps us focus on the high- risk carriers and the high-risk behaviors,” she said. “You don’t have time for us to be stopping you when you’re fully in compliance, and we don’t have the resources to be stopping you when you’re in full compliance. We need to focus on the violators, on the high-risk behaviors, and on closing the loopholes that let others through.” That may be so, especially as the


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program moves out of the pilot stage and as law enforcement becomes more experienced at administering it. But both Stockert and Hemming indicated that the regulatory environment is getting more difficult to deal with, not less. Stockert said that it seems that, when a state is trained in CSA 2010, the number of inspections increases, and the inspections become tougher. Estimating her company is being inspected 25-30 percent more often than this time last year, she said, “We’re seeing


14 ROADWISE | JUNE 2010 | www.mttrucking.org


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