Changes to violation weighting, more posted this weekend

| December 03, 2012

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Dec. 3 that the long-awaited update to the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) safety enforcement regime’s categories and violation severity weights, among other changes, went into effect during the weekend of Dec. 1.

Speaking during a webinar series conducted Nov. 27-29, Vigillo Sales Director Drew Anderson and company Director of Client Services Sloan Morris detailed the CSA changes, most of which Overdrive has covered in prior reporting you can find here.

Among changes addressing drivers’ and carriers’ long-held concerns about inequities and problems in the system include a new distinction in a violation in the Driver Fitness BASIC (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category), driving while disqualified. The system will now be able to account for whether the suspension was due to a safety- or nonsafety-related reason.  Nonsafety-related suspensions, such the often-remarked-upon situation of a driver behind on child-support payments, will receive a lower severity weight in the BASIC.

Various changes to speeding violation weights will also occur and will be retroactive over the two years of carrier inspection histories included in public Safety Measurement System rankings. There will be “no more speeding violations in the 1-5 mph range over” the limit, noted Morris, and if no specific miles-per-hour over the limit “is listed, the violation will be given lowest, 1-point severity weighting,” covering speeding warnings often utilized in probable-cause states as reasons to pull over and inspect a truck.

Improper securement violations will now appear as part of carriers’ Vehicle Maintenance BASIC measures, and in place of the former Cargo Related BASIC, FMCSA is leaving only hazmat-related violations and calling the category the Hazmat BASIC. The severity weights of many securement violations, in turn, have been reduced.

FMCSA has been vocal about scores in the new hazmat category not exhibiting a strong correlation to carrier crash risk but has justified the change by noting the bias the former Cargo Related BASIC had on open-deck carriers, who were overrepresented there. The violations that remain as contributors to carriers’ scores in the Hazmat BASIC are largely to do with placarding errors. “The data is fairly thin,” said Morris, with remaining Hazmat BASIC violations representing only 1.3 percent of the total actual violations recorded in the CSA system. “The former cargo BASIC,” Morris added, was slightly more robust, at “6.3 percent of all violations.”

It is possible, too, for a carrier not subject to the lower BASIC intervention thresholds specified for hazmat carriers to register a percentile ranking in the Hazmat BASIC. Morris cited the example of a 1,900-truck fleet whose primary business is non-hazmat general freight registering a quite high 91.7 score in the Hazmat BASIC, available since early this year in a data preview. “They have only a total of 10 different [Hazmat BASIC] violations over the course of the past two years,” Morris said, and are not subject to lower placardable hazmat intervention thresholds.

FMCSA has agreed to keep the Hazmat BASIC numbers hidden from public view, just as the Cargo-related BASIC has been, for a year as these and other potential anomalies are addressed.

See our reporting from August for more detail on the changes.

You can access slides from Vigillo’s webinar series here.


  • Marty Marsh

    LMAO, it makes my heart flutter to see that one day your going to need the qualifications of a pilot to drive a truck, but you won’t be able to leave the ground, after all that would be a different endorsement. But just wait until you see how much your going to have to pay future truck drivers. Not to mention all of the technology they think they need in new trucks, which is going to become as expensive as a jet.
    After thinking about all of that, has the Railroad influenced Washington in to limiting trucking, it sure looks like it.

  • Nate A

    Well said Marty.

  • Jess McClure

    could it be the reason Warren Buffet bought a big chunk of Northfork Southern and is Obamas little rich boy now – you are right on Marty !

  • Les

    Well, just back that train up to a dock then..

  • Pingback: CSA: Changes in scoring, weighting go into effect this week | Commercial Carrier Journal

  • JoJo

    CSA score for an experienced driver should be better than for a new driver, where both have no violations. Experienced drivers do not need any Hours Of Service to control them.

  • Andrea Sitler

    Inequalities in the system need/needed to be met. Team fleets take a hit due to miles vs. equipment count by the way the algorithm is set up. Just like HOS, one size does not fit all. It is good to see efforts are being made but we keep subdividing the categories we move to a micro-management level. This adds confusion and frustration for everyone (law enforcement, business owners, truckers and those trying to interpret the scores).
    These changes along with the DOT card and Dr qualifications are just giving Big Brother a firmer hand in the industry. While governance is needed there is limitations. We all want to be safe. Anyone who is a true professional, company or driver, does not want to be a party to accidents or violations. I understand the needs for laws but we also need a reality check when implementing and imposing those regulations.

    Soon the industry will be so regulation heavy that the trucks won’t be able to move. The driver shortage will only get worse with all the new sleep apnea, BMI and med card regs. I already loose drivers because of e-log and e-dispatch system. They are not comfortable with the “new” technology. It is not due to the tracking an “in-cab babysitter” but just that it is technology. We loose good “old school” drivers each time these new rules are implemented. Look how many good drivers we lost when the CDL came into effect due to fear or misunderstanding when taking the test. 20-30 year veterans walked away from the industry to be replaced by rookie drivers or foreign recruits/imports.
    The government must want us all to return to rail and ocean/waterway moves else they would not regulate us to death. CA new’s EPA rules is just another example. Sure, get rid of big rigs and the highway may be a little less congested but how are you going to get all your material goods? If we rail and water ship everything, at least straight trucks or local rigs will be needed to move the items to a DC. Then straight trucks or vans can deliver to the stores but you still need truckers. IF that move is implemented; think of the increase in cost of the delivery of the product? Of course it is passed to the consumer and we all pay. We all pay for these excessive regulations.

  • cliftonpyle

    And we are all just going to sit by and LET them force us all out of a job because the majority is afraid to stand up and do anything to protest this bull crap that the government is forcing on us just so they can make sure they keep their jobs going til the very last truck driver is out of a job.

  • mad as hell!

    hey, start weighting railroad cars!!!!!!

  • Marty Marsh

    Clifton, I have been a raging maniac for the last ten years and although I was chased out of the industry with 39 years under my belt they still haven’t heard the last of me.You will hear me when no one else will even wisper.

  • Marty Marsh

    Yeah but, without control, there is no money and that is what this is about.

  • Mike Jones

    Si…”behaior anyalysis”..muy importante por el Chofer……

  • Mike Jones

    Algorythm….my bueno….por mi trookay?? strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.