Fleets Find Ways to Manage CSA Scores Following Removal From Public View

Removal of the CSA percentile scores and relative comparisons last year by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been a double-edged sword.

While the removal was welcome news by those who felt that there were flaws in the program’s methodology, carriers still find that some customers require the information. Plus, insurance companies are interested in using safety scores to assess insurability and mitigate risk. Carriers like C.R. England have decided to provide the old public BASICs (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories) on a case-by-case basis.

Because they’ve lost the ability to benchmark their safety scores against other carriers of like size, many fleets find that they need the assistance of safety rating tools and consultants like SaferWatch and Vigillo, which offer CSA-equivalent scoring programs, to make mission-critical decisions.

In the September/October 2016 issue of Transport Topics’ iTECH supplement, several carriers and technology consultants discussed the demand for safety rating tools following the removal of CSA scores from public view. That story can be accessed on the Transport Topics web site – and in an accompanying story, fleets and vendors discussed the use of technology to track and improve CSA scores.

In that story, Drivewyze president Brian Heath pointed out how Drivewyze, which offers carriers weigh station bypass based on their safety scores, can reduce congestion at inspection sites and weigh stations, which can in turn help prevent accidents.

Heath also described the field trial of a system to expedite Level III inspections by automatically and wirelessly populating an inspection form with data such as driver and hours-of-service information. Drivewyze accomplishes this e-inspection by accessing secure databases for law enforcement and commercial vehicle inspection officers and identifying the truck and its driver. Once identified, Drivewyze gathers all necessary data including driver documents, electronic driver logs, and carrier records, and analyzes that information using pre-determined criteria set by the state.

Drivewyze also takes into consideration other information such as vehicle weight if the inspection site or weigh station has access to weigh-in-motion sensors on the mainline. Whether everything checks out, Drivewyze informs the commercial vehicle inspection officer of the outcome and populates the Level III inspection form with the e-inspection results. This information is then incorporated into the carrier’s safety record. If issues are identified, the vehicle is flagged and is signaled to pull into the weigh station or inspection site for further examination.

For safe carriers with insufficient data to be rated, e-inspections can offer a much faster way to build up a solid safety record.

“You can turn a 30- to 60-minute manual inspection into a 5-minute inspection (through this electronic screening),” Heath told Transport Topics. It could help carriers that are looking to increase their number of clean inspections to get them faster.

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