FMCSA offers preview of safety measurement changes

Updated Mar 28, 2012

Now through late June independent and large carriers can preview the first round of changes to the Safety Measurement System proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for use in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

These changes are the first in a series of improvements to SMS that FMCSA will make up to twice a year. FMCSA is providing the preview period before it applies the SMS changes to prioritize carriers for safety interventions and before it makes those changes public.

During the SMS preview, FMCSA will address comments from carriers and others. The agency may further refine the SMS enhancements before implementation in late summer.

Carriers with an ID number can go online to see how the changes would affect their rating in CSA’s seven BASIC (behavior analysis and safety improvement) categories.

The changes will be published in the Federal Register. No rulemaking is required, so there will be no notice of a proposed rule, FMCSA said.

The first package of SMS enhancements will include:

  • Strengthening the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC by incorporating cargo/load securement violations from today’s Cargo-Related BASIC
  • Changing the Cargo-Related BASIC to the Hazardous Materials BASIC to better identify HM-related safety problems
  • Better aligning the SMS with Intermodal Equipment Provider regulations
  • Aligning violations that are included in the SMS with Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance inspection levels by eliminating vehicle violations derived from driver-only inspections and driver violations from vehicle-only inspections
  • More accurately identifying carriers involved in transporting hazardous materials
  • More accurately identifying carriers involved in transporting passengers
  • Modifying the SMS display to change current terminology, “inconclusive” and “insufficient data,” to fact-based descriptions and separate crashes with injuries and crashes with fatalities.

Carriers can preview the changes at the CSA website and log in with an FMCSA-issued DOT number and a PIN or log in to the FMCSA portal and select the “CSA Outreach” link.