Following a series of tragic, high-profile motor coach crashes, the CSA set out to target the passenger carrying industry with a “quick strike” round of targeted audits. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made this announcement back in February, summarizing their intent to intervene with “high risk” bus companies as part of a “national safety sweep”.
Teams of auditors were specially trained by early April and out on the roads visiting carriers whose scores indicated a potential safety threat to the public.
A May 3rd press release states:
“Bus companies across the U.S. should know that if they put the traveling public at risk, we will put them out of business,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We will not tolerate bus companies disregarding safety regulations that protect the traveling public from harm.”
Today’s action marks the fifth shutdown of a passenger carrier following the deployment earlier this month of more than 50 specially trained safety investigators targeting high-risk passenger carriers. In the past ten days, FMCSA investigators have shut down bus companies in the District of Columbia, Georgia, Ohio and New York. Since the beginning of 2013, FMCSA has shut down a total of 12 bus companies and seven trucking companies. The agency has also declared three commercial driver’s license holders as imminent hazards, blocking them from operating in interstate commerce.
This is good news. The CSA is putting teeth into enforcing its rules against those carriers that amount to scofflaws — ignoring their responsibilities to adhere to minimum standards of safety performance.
In a recent article by Overdriveonline.com, they quote an FMCSA official speaking on background who noted “…that truck fleets could be certain that lessons learned from the experience also would be applied to them – and sooner than later.“
Further, the article states:
Agency Transportation Specialist Courtney Stevenson outlined the parameters that define “high-risk” carriers relative to the Compliance, Safety, Accountability compliance ranking system for attendees of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance workshop April 22 in Louisville, Ky. “FMCSA has a congressional mandate that we investigate high-risk motor carriers,” she said. A high-risk carrier is one “that has a Crash or Hours of Service or Unsafe Driving [Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category, or BASIC, ranking] greater than 85, plus another BASIC” above the intervention/alert threshold. And, she added, “any company with four or more BASICs” above threshold is also considered high-risk. Carriers that meet these standards, the agency says, show crash involvement rates double the national average…
A carrier is high-risk if…
- Its ranking in the Unsafe Driving, Hours of Service Compliance or Crash Indicator BASIC exceeds 85 and
- It has a ranking above intervention/ alert threshold in one other BASIC.
- It has rankings above intervention/ alert threshold in four or more SMS BASICs.
A link to the full overdriveonline article can be found HERE.
All regulated fleets should be monitoring their CSA BASICs on a consistent basis — challenging any incorrect data and working closely with their operators to minimize the number of violations received for either unsafe driving or vehicle deficiencies.
The use of performance monitoring systems like How’s My Driving, telematics, and camera systems can have a positive influence on violation rate and crash rates, but only if the data developed from those systems is taken seriously and used with urgency to coach drivers on their behaviors in a productive, compassionate manner.
Coaching programs are seldom supplied by technology providers since they are experts at engineering and electronics, but coaching requires a soft-skill connection to become effective.
Translating data into behavior change doesn’t have to be difficult, and that’s why we have partnered with safety managers from our 3800 fleet customers to build a supervisory training program on how to conduct effective coaching sessions for our How’s My Driving program. SafetyFirst’s training was the first developed back in 1998 and has been continuously revised each year since. Available to current customers, the DVD and online, interactive versions have been extremely popular and effective.
SafetyFirst deals with operator safety programs: accident reduction, telematics, safety hotlines, MVR profiling, DQF online systems and more. ”Best In Class” solution for the insurance industry with a network of more than 75 providers, and working with 3,800 active fleet clients in a variety of programs.
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