For too long professional drivers have faced the burden of receiving CSA points for being involved in an accident, even when the driver was not at fault. At this point in time, the only option for a not-at-fault driver and their carrier is to challenge and win citations in court. But the process of removing citations and their impact on CSA scores is difficult, not to mention the scores are public and can be seen by customers, shippers, brokers and the general populace.
However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is moving to fix this troublesome problem in its CSA safety enforcement system. CSA is asking for comments on a plan to start including in its CSA database the results of court rulings on carrier challenges of roadside inspection citations. (To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and put the docket number, ‘‘FMCSA–2013–0457’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ When the new screen appears, click on ‘‘Comment Now!’’ button.)
Currently, the citation shows up in the carrier’s record at CSA, but a successive dismissal of the citation by a court does not make it into the system. To solve the problem, CSA wants to change the Motor Carrier Management Information System to include the results of a court’s finding. The process change would accept information concerning a violation that was dismissed or the carrier found not guilty. In that case, the original violation would be removed from the CSA database.
If the citation is changed or reduced to a lesser charge, the CSA file would say so and adjust the carrier’s safety score. If the original charge is upheld, the violation would remain in the system. “These changes will improve the uniformity and quality of data vital improving safety on the Nation’s roads,” CSA said in its announcement.
We encourage you to send your comments to CSA and to leave comments below. This long-awaited change to the CSA enforcement system is a must-have adjustment for the industry and would be a win for all professional drivers.