Today, I posted Vigillo’s comments on the proposed CSA 3.0 Methodology changes.  The summary is below with a link to the full document.  it will appear on the Regulations.gov website after it has been accepted by the FMCSA.  As of right now, there are 78 comments. I have reviewed a sampling of these and most seem to be critical of the changes.  The comment period closes tonight at 11:59 Eastern time, every comment helps.  If you want to improve things, you have to weigh in.

Vigillo’s Comment (Summary):

The changes proposed in the 3.0 Methodology, specifically the changes that eliminate the Cargo BASIC and create a new HAZMAT BASIC have the effect of removing an unfair bias against Flatbed/Open Deck Carriers that exists in CARGO today, and replaces it with an unfair bias against high mileage, over the road carries who only occasionally carry any HAZMAT freight.

The removal of serious CARGO related violations into the vast ocean of Vehicle Maintenance has the effect of telling Law Enforcement & the Industry that CARGO violations no longer matter.  CSA has always been about prioritizing the limited resources of law enforcement. Improper Load securement vanishes as a priority.

Tissue thin data is available on the new HAZMAT BASIC and the data that is available shows only placards and paperwork with no tie to driver behavior that leads to crashes- the stated mission of CSA since 2004. Yet this new, publicly available BASIC will become the focus of brokers, shippers, drivers, plaintiffs and law enforcement as equivalent to BASICs with true safety backbone.

There are many areas where CSA needs to be improved such as crash accountability, disparate treatment by states, lack of a coherent challenge process, and a robust analysis of whether CSA accomplishes its goals.  These proposed changes in 3.0 as they relate to HAZMAT/CARGO do not address any of these badly needed improvements, and in fact steer CSA further into a course of Compliance Management instead of Safety Management.

Docket FMCSA-2012-0074 Vigillo Final