On Valentines Day, FMCSA declared its love for CSA by rejecting a suiter it had been flirting with for nearly six years, the Item Response Theory. The industry exhaled a collective sigh of relief as it had been anxious about the possibility of having to adapt to a new CSA methodology that many thought was not easily understandable or explainable. As it enters the next phase of its now long-term relationship with CSA however, FMCSA is asking it to change, hopefully for the better. STC applauds FMCSA taking an honest look at CSA and proposing substantive changes. After reviewing FMCSA’s proposed changes, STC is bullish on the prospect of these changes, if implemented, on improving FMCSA’s ability to identify less safe motor carriers for enforcement intervention.

One of the ways it will accomplish this is to reduce the influence of roadside inspectors on a carrier’s CSA score. By moving to a simplified severity weighting scheme (either 1 or 2) and grouping like violations into a single penalty, no longer will a single bad inspection have an outsized influence. By introducing the proportionate percentile concept FMCSA is further insulating carriers from a single inspection having an outsized influence by eliminating the shock felt by carriers when they transition to a new safety event group.

Of course, FMCSA proposed several other significant changes, the impact of which we’ll continue to evaluate. Keep an eye on our newsletter for more analysis and check out our summary of the changes. We’ll reserve our judgment until we have enough time to more completely digest the proposal. In the meantime, STC encourages all motor carriers to review the impact of these proposed changes on their CSA scores and to let FMCSA know what they think by submitting comments. They’re listening.