What is FMCSA and What is Their Mission?
First off, the FMCSA is known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They are a transportation agency with over 1,000 Federal employees as well as 12,000 State Partners. Their commitment is a safety mission that prevents crashes, injuries, and fatalities related to large commercial trucks and buses on the highways.
The CSA, furthermore, is FMCSA’s data-driven safety compliance and enforcement program that is designed to improve safety and prevent CMV crashes, fatalities, and injuries. They help carriers and drivers improve safety compliance so that everybody makes it home safely. The CSA has three elements that can help raise a company’s safety standards, which include the following:
- Safety Measurement System that improves how the FMCSA prioritizes carriers for interventions, includes more safety data, and organizes safety behaviors into seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs)
- Intervention Process that creates new, more efficient ways for FMCSA to interact with carriers and help bring them into compliance (such as warning letters and investigations)
- Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) that would incorporate roadside inspection data
How Does the Safety Measurement System Work?
- Helps FMCSA prioritize carriers for interventions
- SMS results are updated once per month, where violation and crash information are weighted based on their severity and when these events happened
- Important to understand how safety violations can adversely affect your company’s SMS results for two years
- However, the SMS is not a safety rating and does not alter a carrier’s safety rating.
- Organizes carrier roadside inspection, crash, and investigation information into seven BASICs
Why Are Safety Records So Important?
Your safety performance keeps everybody (and you!) safe on the roads, as well as the performance being a part of your company’s record – this means that your safety compliance means a lot for you and them! It is fully up to you to ensure that your safety record is accurate; however, it is also important to note that you have two different records to keep up with. These are State Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) and Federal PSP Records. It is also important to note that there is no universal evaluation method for drivers.
- State MVR: Are not impacted by CSA, include State conviction information, can lead to suspension of CDLs based on their information, and can be obtained through the State Driver Licensing Agency
- Federal PSP Record: Are mandated by Congress and act as a pre-employment screening tool that allows carriers and drivers to purchase a Federal inspection and crash history record, does not directly impact your CDL, and can be obtained for free via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request
Get Road Smart!
Safety is really up to you – the CSA holds drivers accountable for safe on-road performance. You can learn how to strengthen your safety record while making the roads safe for everyone. You can visit http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/?driver today to view other driver records, request a review of your data, and see motor carrier data. Why is it important to get road smart? You share the roads with over 250 million motorists. This is why five million truck and bus drivers need to remember safety information and keep others safe!