In the latest installment of the Beyond Compliance saga that began in 2010 with the implementation of the CSA program, FMCSA recently asked stakeholders to review and comment on its plan to survey motor carriers with exemplary safety performance records about what voluntarily adopted safety programs or technologies are most effective. The Beyond Compliance program concept is to offer carriers who undertake safety measures beyond minimum regulatory compliance a way to receive CSA “credits” and to counteract perceived deficiencies of the CSA program. The benefit is thought to be two-fold:

  1. Better calibrated CSA scores to account for voluntary safety improvement efforts
  2. An incentive for carriers to adopt programs and technologies proven to improve safety.

Ten years later, STC wonders if it will ever become a reality.

CSA implementation caused a frantic reaction from carriers whose business partners began basing business decisions largely on carrier CSA scores, which shifted the focus from crash rates and safety ratings to the regulatory compliance measured by CSA. At the time, industry practitioners felt they understood the technologies and programs that have the greatest impact on safety (spoiler, it isn’t whether the driver has a medical certificate in their possession). Rightly so, those with progressive safety programs wanted “credit’ on their CSA scores for spending valuable resources to improve safety. In the 10 years since FMCSA launched CSA, carriers have learned to manage their CSA scores by focusing on compliance issues regardless of their nexus with crash reduction (Reference STC’s A Decade of CSA – What Have We Learned Part 1 for more). This has arguably affected the incentive for some to adopt progressive safety programs and technology that any Beyond Compliance program may have provided.

This leaves STC wondering: has Beyond Compliance reached is “Sell-by” date before it even hit the shelves?