Barely 12 percent of active motor carriers are ranked in any of the five safety categories within the new Safety Measurement System the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made public for the first time on Dec. 12, according to an analysis by Commercial Carrier Journal.
The SMS, which replaced SafeStat, is a key component of what FMCSA now formally calls Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) — not Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010. The agency published SMS data and metrics after a federal appeals court turned down an emergency request for a stay..
CCJ’s analysis of data published at FMCSA’s Analysis & Information website shows that only 92,184 of the 758,682 active motor carriers in the agency’s database are ranked in any of the five publicly available Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) — Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving, Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances and Vehicle Maintenance. The Cargo-Related and Crash Indicator BASICs are, for now, withheld from the public due to agency concerns that the data could be misleading.
Of the 92,184 carriers that are ranked in at least one BASIC, 52,967 carriers have at least one alert, meaning they exceeded the threshold for intervention. The greatest number of alerts, 29,207, are in the Fatigued Driving BASIC, followed by the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC at 21,791. The Controlled Substances BASIC had the fewest alerts at 3,605.
The majority of carriers are unranked because FMCSA set minimum thresholds of inspections to be considered within BASIC safety event groups. Those floors vary, but generally carriers must have three to five inspections in the past 24 months to be ranked in a BASIC. FMCSA plans to use those rankings to target interventions under its new graduated process, which starts with warning letters and escalates potentially to full-blown compliance reviews.