FMCSA adds high-severity phone use violations to CSA

| February 03, 2012

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has enhanced the Safety Measurement System methodology to include violations based on new cell phone use regulations.

Five texting and cell phone use violations will now contribute the highest (10 points) weighted severity to carriers’ numerical rankings in the Unsafe Driving Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC).

The violations include two each relating to operating a commercial motor vehicle while texting and operating a CMV while using a handheld mobile telephone. The fifth violation applies to motor carrier safety procedures, assigning a 10-point severity weighting to carriers’ “allowing or requiring driver to use a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a CMV.”

The SMS snapshot carriers will see this month will also provide more detailed breakouts of existing brake, wheel and coupling regulations, the agency said, which in part will help clarify the party responsible for violations in which intermodal equipment providers are involved. All told, the added detail turns six current Vehicle Maintenance violations into 22.

Those improvements are the results of a joint FMCSA and Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance effort, the agency said, to increase data uniformity through improved processes and tools.

FMCSA is revising Appendix A of the SMS Methodology document to take these changes into account.

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