Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)
As a shipper, you have probably heard of the recently enacted federal regulations governing the motor carrier industry: Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA). It is the most significant change to safety regulations in twenty-five years, intending to gauge the safety performance of drivers and carriers to predict those who would be most likely to cause crashes. To support CSA, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created a rating system and an online interface to help regulators quickly focus on the various safety factors within a carrier’s fleet. From this interface, inspectors determine which carriers to inspect for potential sanctions. In 2011, FMCSA made this interface available to the general public, drivers, and motor carriers to provide transparency into the CSA rating system.
An Evolving Regulation System
While the goals of CSA are noble, the implementation of the system and its exact measures remain hotly debated. Since 2010, the FMCSA has continuously adjusted factors such as carrier groupings, alert thresholds and the labeling and arrangement of BASICs, to more tightly correlate all of the safety information being tracked on individual drivers and carriers to the likelihood of a crash. As these adjustments occur, it can cause Bennett to have more or less favorable scores.
Bennett’s Accident Prevention Methodology
For many years, Bennett Motor Express has held an enviable safety record, with a crash rate well below the national average, due in large part to a strong safety culture and policies that reward safe driving. In response to CSA, Bennett has taken a fresh look at the management of its safety culture to ensure more rigorous adherence to BASICs, and further enhance our safety record.
Raising Driver Safety Awareness / Changing Behavior
Bennett dispatchers routinely explain CSA rules and review individual driver scorecards before dispatch. Driver and Company CSA scores are being added to settlement statements, and made more easily accessible within our DriversIG online portal. Our intervention policy addresses unsafe driver behavior before it becomes an issue.
CSA Focus Within 200+ Safety Meetings
Driver Safety meetings contain CSA BASIC focused training and a detailed review of individual driver CSA scores.
CSA Incentives Within Safety Bonus Programs
Bennett’s Safety Bonus Programs reward safe driving habits. Formerly tied only to crash and claims incidents, Bennett now offers a $200 bonus for a clean Roadside Inspection. Eligibility for Annual Safety Bonuses of up to $2000 are tied directly to CSA point thresholds. This motivates increased attention to logs, maintenance, and cargo related safety measures that would prevent an increase in a driver’s and Bennett’s CSA scores.
Increased Electronic Logs Usage
Because paperwork and log violations comprise a large part of the CSA points system, Bennett is investing heavily in equipment and training to enable electronic logs within our fleet. Better logs by our owner operators will enable regulators to focus on the true causes of crashes.
PSP Record Used in Recruitment
The Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) record holding a detailed history of CSA points has been added into the Bennett recruiting process to determine whether or not we will hire drivers.
Bennett’s Driver Intervention Policy
While we would prefer to prevent violations, they do occur. Within CSA, drivers hold violation points for 3 years no matter what carrier they work with and Bennett retains the CSA points of our drivers for 2 years regardless of whether a driver continues to work with us. Under these conditions, Bennett aligned its safety intervention policies to the CSA BASICs. Our policies include a decreased amount of points (violations) that would cause our interventions:
- Intervention 1: In-person training (logs, defensive driving, securement), or inspection at Bennett Terminal
- Intervention 2: Complete compliance audit and inspection at Bennett Terminal
- Intervention 3: Disqualification. A smaller number of “minor” violations than ever before are cause for disqualifying a driver. For example, one seatbelt violation is cause for disqualification, a practice once unheard of within our industry.
Everyone at Bennett strives for continuous safety improvement everyday. From offering free courtesy inspections and brightly colored seatbelt covers to our drivers, to ongoing safety updates from industry consultants and partners, Bennett always has safety in mind. Contact our safety department today for updates to our CSA compliance program.