CSA Challenges

Todd Dills and Max Kvidera | March 01, 2011

Todd Dills

Implementation of the new carrier Inspection Selection System scores, already in effect in CSA pilot states, is occurring nationwide on a state-by-state basis.

The 1986 Peterbilt 359 show-class flagship truck of Adams Motor Express, which says it’s seen fewer roadside inspections since updates to the ISS went into effect.

Major Mark Savage of the Colorado State Patrol says the new ISS will help roadside inspectors better prioritize carriers for inspection. Of particular concern will be carriers with “serious violations” as noted in the CSA Safety Measurement System or with alerts in the Fatigued Driving (hours-of-service) or any two or more other BASICs.

“We also asked ISS to do something new,” Savage says. “We asked it to identify carriers that we don’t have data on.”

Carriers one inspection shy of achieving enough inspections to be ranked in a BASIC will receive an ISS score marking their trucks for inspection, as will those with no inspections or a low inspection rate.

The new ISS algorithm, according to analysis conducted by sources in the PrePass weigh-station preclearance/bypassing network, has resulted in 69 percent of all trucks on the road now falling into the ISS “inspect” category (with a score of 75 or above). PrePass, company officials say, will work with 29 states to find inspection selection criteria that help states effectively manage their commercial vehicle traffic flows.

69   Estimated percentage of trucks on the road operated by a carrier with an ISS score of 75 or higher, the highest priority for inspection. Source: PrePass analysis

Inspecting 69 percent of all trucks is a physical impossibility, given states’ inspection staff and tight budget requirements, and expecting such is unfair to the states as well as most carriers on the road, sources note. PrePass’ bypass technology will continue to work routinely for most carriers employing the technology.

For a video with Legal Benefits Group proprietor Rickey Gooch (right, with business partner Bill Salin) about due process in CSA and his group’s driver “CSA Boot Camp,” see the editorial video queue at truckersnews.com.

“This is not the first time we have had to work with our states to help them adjust inspection algorithms as a result of changes in federal safety measurement systems,” says president and CEO Dick Landis. “This is a continuation of that process, and it will require a willingness on the part of the ISS administrators to learn from the many millions of clearance events as a result of the PrePass system.”

While owner-operators and other small fleets with few inspections on file may have seen their ISS scores jump when the new system went public in December, others with good ratings appear to be benefiting from the change. Ronnie Adams, of 30-truck Adams Motor Express, based in Georgia, says inspectors were “hot and heavy trying to get information for the system” on his company’s trucks throughout 2010. He estimates five times as many inspections last year compared with the number the company received in 2009.

Since December, when CSA revealed data from enough inspections to provide low, safe scores in three of the five public BASICs, Adams says, “It’s cooled off a little now. We’re not seeing near as many inspections.”

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