SAN DIEGO. The new comprehensive safety analysis (CSA) 2010 program now being put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) “will be a game changer and will really help (well-managed fleets) by removing capacity from the road that shouldn’t be there,” according to Robert Lowe, president & CEO of Prime Inc. (See interview with Norm Ellis, senior VP for Qualcomm Enterprise Systems)

CSA 2010 has been described as a new business model for FMCSA enforcement and compliance programs that will rank both fleets and individual drivers on seven categories of safety-related data.

With the first stage expected to begin rolling out by July, it is intended to identify the worst fleets and drivers in each category for stepped up scrutiny by FMCSA and will eventually replace the current SafetyStat safety rating system.

By focusing on the worst safety risks among both fleets and drivers, CSA 2010 “will constrain capacity, and then we’ll see rates begin to move up,” Lowe said during a keynote speech at the Qualcomm users conference here. “It will bring lots of opportunity,” he said.

The program’s seven Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories, or BASICs, will create databases on fleet and driver violations, warnings, DOT reportable accidents and other activities which can be more easily measured and analyzed, according to Dave Kraft, Qualcomm’s senior manager of governmental affairs.

The rankings derived from that data will be updated monthly, making the new rating process much more timely and thorough than the current SafetyStat process, Kraft told fleet managers at the Qualcomm conference. Fleet data will remain in the database for two years, and driver data three years. The one exception will be accident data, which will remain in the files for five years.

While many details are “evolving,” FMCSA is moving ahead quickly with the program because “they’re serious about getting the bad actors out of the industry,” Kraft said. Initially the CSA 2010 BASIC measurements will be used to determine SafetyStat ratings, but once new rules are put in place, CSA 2010 will completely replace SafetyStat with a new rating system, he said. That changeover should occur in 2011 or 2012, at which time FMCSA will have two years of BASIC data, he pointed out.

“The thing to remember is that each of the seven BASIC measurements will be updated monthly and you can fail in any one,” Kraft said. The Unsafe Driving and Fatigued Driving categories are particularly important because a poor rating in either one will result in an overall poor safety rating for the fleet, he said.

Even though many program details have yet to be finalized, Kraft urged fleets to begin preparing for the new process. Fleets need to check and update current safety records including SafetyStat ratings and the data behind those ratings, he said. “And educate drivers about the changes and how their performance will impact their records and yours,” Kraft told the fleet managers.

Kraft also urged the conference attendees to take advantage of the FMCSA web site created to keep introduce fleets to the new CVA 2010 program and keep them up-to-date on the developing processes and rules.