29. August 2012 13:12
On August 24, the FMCSA announced changes to the Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 initiative. Implemented in 2011, CSA 2010 was intended "to develop a new approach to identify drivers and operators who pose safety problems and to intervene to address those problems." The initiative caused some concern among drivers because they have become subject to more scrutiny and among carriers since some drivers may not be able to withstand this close attention to their personal and driving habits. Obviously, if many drivers lose their jobs due to these stricter inspections, it will exacerbate the predicted driver shortage. Additionally, carriers will continue to be responsible and accountable for the performance of their employees.
While most responsible carriers and drivers supported CSA 2010, like so many federal regulations, the rules had some rough spots. To FMCSA's credit, they have tried to address these, and the recent changes scheduled to become effective in December of this year are a result of public input – to which they listened. FMCSA also announced the formation of an advisory panel of industry representatives to assist in dealing with CSA issues.
Obviously, this is all about safety. While fatalities involving trucks and buses decreased by almost 5 percent in 2011, almost 4,000 people are still being killed in such crashes every year. Any effort to reduce that number should be welcomed by everyone in the industry.
I give the FMCSA a "B+" on this one.
Image by Roger Sadler