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Who is impacted by the CSA?

As a motor carrier, you know that you need to pay attention to the FMCSA and their regulations. There are a few letters that you might have heard about — CSA, or Compliance, Safety, Accountability. What is the trucking CSA, and who is affected by it? (And why is there an FMCSA and a CSA? That’s just confusing.) Is it something that your motor carrier is subject to? We’ll explain. 

What is the trucking CSA?

The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Administration) is a big deal. They regulate the trucking and transportation industry. And they have a program called CSA that monitors and enforces safety compliance. The CSA has three pieces: 

The Safety Measurement System (SMS): The SMS allows the FMCSA to identify carriers with safety problems so that they can intervene. Through the SMS, the FMCSA, law enforcement, and motor carriers themselves to look at a profile of safety issues. 

Safety interventions: The interventions allow for carriers to be brought into compliance.

Safety rating process: The safety rating process allows the FMCSA to figure out a carrier’s safety fitness. They do this through Onsite Investigations. 

Basically the CSA is how the FMCSA tracks a carrier’s safety performance to make sure they’re staying in compliance with appropriate regulations. 

MVR checks

Who is affected by the trucking CSA? 

Now, the next question is what businesses are beholden to the CSA and its compliance efforts. The CSA affects carriers that are subject to the FMCSA’s regulations. It impacts carriers who transport passengers or cargo interstate, and it impacts carriers who transport hazardous materials intrastate. It can also affect carriers who are in a state that requires them to get a DOT Number.

What about Canadian or Mexican carriers?

What about the neighbors of the United States — Canada and Mexico? Are their motor carriers subject to the CSA? Well, in general, if a Canadian or Mexican carrier is beholden to the FMCSRs (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations), they are indeed subject to the CSA. Likewise for carriers transporting people or cargo interstate or hazardous materials intrastate. However, the FMCSA provides detailed explanations of who exactly is subject to the FMCSRs, so that’s helpful. (It’s really important to understand what regulations your motor carrier is subject to.)

How can I find out more?

The trucking CSA is complex, and you might have a lot of questions. There are a few places you can go to find out more information.

  • The CSA Help Center
  • The CSA FAQs section
  • The CSA Fact Sheet 

Or you can just take a look at the CSA website and click around to browse the information and resources available. There is also an email subscription you can sign up for to get updates about the CSA and find out the latest breaking news. It’s something to consider.

So, that explains a little bit about who is impacted by the CSA, which is the FMCSA’s safety enforcement program. Becoming familiar with the FMCSA and its regulations is highly important for your trucking businesses. They take safety seriously, hence the CSA! So, don’t neglect compliance matters. 

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