11 CSA Trucking Regulations Changed Just in Time for the Holidays

Well, the holidays are in full swing and the FMCSA has done its shopping early. Oh, yes… ‘Tis the season for new CSA trucking regulations.

In effect as of December 1, 2012, we encourage you to determine how these CSA changes might impact your own trucking operation.

2012 CSA trucking regulations changes

1.    Load securement violations will be moved from the now non-existent Cargo-Related Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category, or BASIC, into the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC.

This change was made at the request of carriers who operate flatbed trailers. They felt the Cargo-Related BASIC placed them at a huge disadvantage, as any securement issues were far more visible than those for closed containers.

The severity weights will be adjusted as well, to ensure the FMCSA is able to identify at-risk carriers, while eliminating the flatbed bias.

2.    The Cargo-Related BASIC is gone and will now be replaced by the Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance BASIC.

This will better enable the FMCSA to identify HazMat-related safety and compliance issues that could present a greater risk to public safety. Greater compliance also means emergency responders will be better equipped to minimize the impacts of HazMat-related crashes.

Of note, the HazMat category contains a large number of violations with a 10 or 8 point severity weight. Just one instance of these violations can quickly endanger a fleet’s safety score.

3.    HazMat carrier definitions will be updated within SMS, so that identifying those carriers whose unsafe operation may pose a more significant risk to public safety can be more closely monitored.

There are now two separate files that anyone can download that separate HazMat carriers.

4.    Passenger carrier definitions will also be updated within SMS. Carriers that operate for-hire 9-15 passenger vehicles and 16-plus passenger vehicles will be added and carriers operating 1-8 passenger vehicles and private carriers operating 1-15 passenger vehicles such as limousines, vans and taxis will be removed.

5.    Intermodal Equipment Provider (IEP) regulations violations will now be documented in SMS. These violations include issues that should have been detected by the driver during his or her pre-trip inspection and corrected before they hit the road.

6.    Vehicle violations identified during driver-only inspections will be eliminated from SMS, as will driver violations uncovered during vehicle-only inspections. Meaning, carriers won’t be penalized for issues identified by law enforcement/inspectors, where those violations were outside the scope of the inspection.  (During an analysis from the FMCSA, approximately 139,000 violations, or 2.6% of all vehicle violations used in the SMS, were vehicle violations cited during a driver-only inspection.)

7.    The FMCSA has changed terminology and how crashes will be displayed in SMS, due to carrier feedback. Now, crashes with injuries will be separated from crashes with fatalities. Also, SMS terms “inconclusive” and “insufficient data” will be updated to reflect fact-based descriptions. It’s hoped that this will make crash data easier to interpret and, therefore, easier to target unsafe carriers.

8.    Any speeding violations of 1 – 5 MPH recorded in the last 24 months will be removed from SMS. This change is inline with 49 CFR 393.82, which requires speedometers to be accurate within 5 MPH.

9.    The severity weight for speeding violations that do not designate the mph range above the speed limit have been lowered to 1 from 5. This applies to all violations after January 1, 2011.

10.    The severity weight of paper and electronic logbook violations will now be equalized. All violations related to not having a logbook, whether that logbook is electronic or paper, will now have a severity weight of 5. Form and manger violations between electronic logbooks and paper logbooks will have an equal severity weight of 1.

11.    The Fatigued Driving BASIC will now be renamed the Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance BASIC to reflect the fact that documentation violations may not indicate a fatigued driver.

Maybe these updated CSA trucking regulations don’t come wrapped in a big red bow, but the FMCSA is addressing genuine carrier concerns. And that sure beats a lump of coal in your stocking, right?

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