CSA delay is smart, I say

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The launch of CSA 2010 on November 30, 2010 will significantly improve the way the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and its state law enforcement partners identify and address high-risk commercial truck and bus companies.” –Candice Tolliver, from the Department of Transportation’s office of public affairs

Pushing back the implementation date for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) new Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010) program may seem to be mere procrastination for many within and without the trucking industry.

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I think it’s a smart move, however, for the simple reason that when you embark on changes this big to the collection and analysis of trucking safety data, you better try and make sure everything goes smoothly right from the start.

So kudos to the feds for hitting the “pause” button, if only for a few extra months, to make sure they’ve got the I’s dotted and t’s crossed where CSA 2010 is concerned.

[Now, if only our illustrious Representatives and Senators could have approached health care reform in a similar fashion …]

The agency added that it’s still currently incorporating the findings from over 30 months of testing in nine CSA 2010 pilot states, another good reason for delaying implementation a wee bit longer.

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“We are committed to deploying an effective CSA 2010 program in November that enables our agency to assess the safety performance of a much larger number of carriers and more quickly address safety problems before crashes occur,” said Candice Tolliver with the Department of Transportation’s office of public affairs.

FMCSA also noted in a prepared statement that, by replacing the current “SafeStat” program with a more comprehensive Safety Measurement System (SMS), CSA 2010 should ensure that all safety-related violations found during roadside inspections are considered when FMCSA identifies high-risk carriers for enforcement interventions.

CSA 2010 has been covered in this space before, so I won’t bore you with all the gory details (but click here if you want a really detailed look at how this will change – and in some cases, not change – how fleets and drivers handle safety issues in this industry).

Suffice to say, though, it’s nice to see the feds recognize that a delay in the regulatory process isn’t always a bad thing – especially if that helps both FMCSA and truckers reach a better safety compliance place in the end.

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