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Congress Issues Out of Service Order for CSA

While CSA has been responsible for an increase in the focus on safety culture at thousands of motor carriers, Vigillo has been very vocal about the defects that exist in the data and methodology that fail to recognize the investment of time, money and talent motor carriers deploy toward ever increasing safety.

Vigillo is a strong advocate of the coming changes to CSA that are so long overdue.  We look forward to now playing a role in the evolution of a data driven safety measurement system that accurately portrays each motor carrier’s dedication to safety culture, investment in new technologies, and ongoing mission to save lives.

In light of the known issues with CSA, Vigillo has been working on, and recently released a safety scoring platform called JUST™. JUST addresses the same defects that are currently of concern in the House and Senate versions of the Highway Bill.  Uniquely positioned to work with its customers and the industry to make JUST a reliable parallel scoring system, Vigillo has the largest database of Motor Carrier CSA data outside of the FMCSA. Whether CSA scores are public or private, JUST will provide a true picture of the compliance, safety and accountability of our nation’s motor carriers.

CSA Background

CSA was conceived and launched with the mission of identifying unsafe motor carriers. It was designed to use data and statistics to reveal unsafe carriers or drivers and to remove unsafe vehicles and drivers from the road. There was widespread support for the program from across the industry when it became public in December of 2010.

The FMCSA has acknowledged that CSA is a work in progress and that it would be improved over time with experience and feedback from all interested parties. Unfortunately, after five years, eight major methodology version changes, over 15 million roadside inspections and 30 million CSA violations, the fundamental flaws in CSA that unfairly score thousands of motor carriers still exist.

The defects in CSA include:

  1. Disparate State Enforcement
  2. Flawed Safety Event Group math
  3. Lack of Crash Preventability determination
  4. Hundreds of thousands of carriers with insufficient data for CSA Scores

CSA Status Today

In July, the U.S. Senate passed the DRIVE Act, which proposed a long term Highway Bill and removed CSA Scores from public view until its defects could be addressed and independently reviewed for accuracy.  The DRIVE Act stalled amid disagreement between the House and Senate on some aspects of the larger Bill.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its own long term Highway Bill called the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015. The STRR Act contains similar language as the DRIVE Act to remove CSA Scores from public view until its defects can be addressed.

Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will go through normal negotiations to reconcile the language that will result in a new, long term Highway Bill that will go to President Obama for his signature.

If the provisions of the STRR Act regarding CSA are included in the final Highway Bill, exactly one day after the President signs the legislation, CSA Percentile Scores and Alert Symbols will be taken down from SMS and will no longer available to anyone other than the FMCSA, individual motor carriers and law enforcement.

Shippers, brokers, insurance providers, safety advocates, attorneys, and the public at large will lose access to CSA Scores. The Bill even precludes using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to access scores. Instead, the only thing that will be available is the raw data of CSA– Inspections, Violations, Measures and Crashes–completely out of the context of any scoring methodology.

Once this happens, it will be incumbent upon each interested party to analyze the raw public data and make their own determination as to the safety profile of each of the nearly 750,000 motor carriers that fall under the authority of the FMCSA.

While CSA is Out-Of-Service for much needed repairs, JUST from Vigillo is in place and can immediately offer a sharper picture of safety than CSA has been able to provide. JUST is ready to roll, and is designed to provide accurate data and to help motor carriers continue to foster a culture of safety.