Will CSA Scoring Be Stopped?

CSA Scoring

No group of people is more concerned about highway safety than truckers. They rely on the reliable and safe operation of their trucks to make a living, and their family and loved ones travel the same roads as everyone else. The frustration all truck drivers and trucking company owners have with the current Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scoring system is not because drivers want to take unsafe shortcuts or cover-up poor practices. It is because the current system does not accurately reflect the safety record of operators or their employing companies.

The CSA scoring system began in February 2008 with field test in Missouri, Colorado, New Jersey, and Georgia. It replaced the "SafeStat" system with a "Safety Measurement System" (SMS) in 2010. A lawsuit to halt its implementation was filed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied a stop order of the program.

One of the biggest flaws with the CSA scoring is that drivers, and the companies they work for, are penalized for accidents that were not the fault of the truck driver. Another is that companies who dismiss an unsafe driver continue to be penalized for that driver, who can go to a new company that does not carry the effects of the score resulting from the drivers infractions.

A coalition of more than ten trade associations in the transportation industry have petitioned Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to remove the CSA scoring system. They cite recent government studies that find the scores are an unreliable indicator of safety or risk. Rep. Lou Barletta, a Republican from Pennsylvania, has authored a bill to eliminate the current CSA scoring system. It also requires the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to come up with a new safety rating standard.

Barletta's bill is currently in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and has good momentum toward passage.

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