What data does the Safety Measurement System use?

The Safety Measurement System uses certain data as part of the methodology.

The Safety Measurement System (SMS), a branch of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), identifies and intervenes with drivers who have demonstrated unsafe driving behavior. It uses seven distinct categories, known as BASICs, to identify, categorize, and rank drivers to prioritize for intervention. BASIC stands for Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories and includes the following categories:

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How can truck drivers view their safety data?

You can request a safety data report.

As a commercial bus or truck driver, it’s in your best interest to know the information contained in your safety record. Monitoring your own performance allows you to be proactive with correcting issues before the Compliance, Safety & Accountability (CSA) division of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) selects you for intervention. We’ll explain how you can obtain a copy of your safety data below.

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Can I challenge the results of an FMCSA inspection?

You can challenge the results of an FMCSA inspection.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducts periodic roadside inspections of commercial trucks and buses to ensure public safety. Any violation on your record with the FMCSA can have a negative impact on your career as well as single you out for further intervention from the agency’s Compliance, Safety & Accountability (CSA) program. What if you want to challenge the result of an FMCSA inspection? We’ll explain.

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When will the Safety Measurement System stop identifying a motor carrier for intervention?

Intervention from the FMCSA doesn't have to last forever.

The Safety Management System (SMS) program, which is managed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), helps to identify and correct unsafe driving behaviors. The organization’s goal is to intervene early enough to prevent accidents from taking place. SMS assigns points under another program known as Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASIC). Each driver receives a score based on the most recent 24 months of performance data.

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What should a truck driver do if there’s an ELD malfunction?

It's important to know what to do if there's an ELD malfunction.

When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) began mandating the use of the electronic logging device (ELD) in December 2017, it did so with the understanding that it could occasionally malfunction. Under FMCSA guidelines, a commercial truck driver must follow specific instructions if the device that monitors date, time, hours of service, and other important data starts to malfunction. Those that do not follow these guidelines risk fines or other sanctions by the FMCSA for being out of compliance. So, we’ll go over what to do if you have an ELD malfunction.

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What information is recorded by an ELD?

ELDs record information about a driver's hours on the road.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all commercial truckers to install an electronic logging device (ELD) in their vehicle to record specific information. The ELD has replaced paper logs and electronic onboard recorders since that device was not standardized for the entire industry. The FMCSA required all carriers to install ELDs by December 2017 and to be in full compliance by December 2019.

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What are Safety Event Groups and how are they used?

It's important to understand what safety event groups are.

Compliance and Safety Accountability (CSA) is a program operated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that uses Safety Event Groups to help rank motor carriers in terms of safety. The CSA first used this methodology in 2010 when it replaced Peer Groups. It also stopped assigning Average Power Units at that time to categorize fleets. The change caused some fleets to see a large fluctuation in their percentile ranking as compared to their peers. We’ll explain what Safety Event Groups are.

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What are Acute and Critical Violations?

There is a difference between acute and critical violations.

When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) completes a safety audit, it is looking for evidence of violations that can put the public at risk. It classifies all violations as either acute or critical. When a trucking company or independent owner-operator receives an acute violation, it means that the violation was so grossly unsafe that the FMCSA will implement immediate corrective action. Refusing or failing to put a drug and alcohol testing program in place is a common example of an acute violation.

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What are the three forms of CSA intervention?

There are different levels of CSA intervention.

Compliance and Safety Accountability (CSA) is a program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for the purpose of helping motor carriers comply with federal regulations. It institutes three levels of intervention known as Early Contact, Investigation, and Follow-On. CSA interventions help to determine the reason for safety issues and recommend solutions to correct them. It also issues penalties to non-compliant motor carriers. Below is a brief description of each of these forms of CSA intervention.

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What do I need to do to reinstate my Motor Carrier Operating Authority?

You might be able to reinstate your motor carrier operating authority.

If you’ve lost your operating authority, all is not lost. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has clearly defined policies for revoking and suspending a carrier’s ability to operate. There are also clear guidelines for reinstating a suspended or revoked motor carrier operating authority that must be followed if you are going to get back on the road legally.

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