November 18, 2010
FMCSA Announces CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) Improvements
On August 16, 2010, FMCSA began providing carriers with information about where they stand in each of the new CSA SMS’s Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) based on roadside inspection data and investigation findings. Based on feedback and analysis from the Data Preview period, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will roll out the new SMS to the nation in December with the following revisions:
- Modify the presentation of SMS BASIC results
- Change the term “Deficient” to “Alert” when a motor carrier’s score in one or more BASICs is above the FMCSA threshold for intervention.
- Change the highlight color from red to orange.
- Improve the language to clarify that BASIC results signify the carrier is prioritized for an FMCSA intervention.
Explanation: Feedback during the Data Preview indicate that the display of SMS results needs to clarify that BASIC percentiles above the FMCSA threshold signify the carrier is prioritized for an FMCSA intervention and do not signify or otherwise imply a “safety rating” or safety fitness determination.
- Modify Cargo-Related BASIC
- Recalibrate the Cargo-Related BASIC by adjusting the cargo securement violation severity weightings based on input from subject matter experts (SMEs).
- Modify the public display to show the SMS Cargo-Related BASIC violations only. The percentiles and intervention status will not be on public display.
Explanation: Feedback during the Data Preview period identified a concern that the BASIC was over-representing certain industry segments and potentially creating a misleading safety alert warning. The Agency conducted additional analysis and concluded that the Cargo-Related BASIC be recalibrated with SMEs providing input on the cargo securement severity weights. The agency received SME input and will now adjust the severity weights and run the algorithm accordingly.
Also, the agency is conducting additional analysis to further understand the impact on the different industry segments of a carrier’s exposure in this BASIC. During this analysis period, the BASIC results will continue to be an effective intervention prioritization tool for enforcement personnel based on sound safety principles. Accordingly, the percentiles and intervention status will be accessible to the FMCSA enforcement community and motor carriers only.
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