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 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.

Comments (10)

Heather Dunn

Heather started with ATBS in April of 2012 as the Digital Marketing Manager. Heather is a graduate of Michigan State University earning her Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a specialization in Public Relations. When Heather is not working she enjoys being outdoors. She loves the beach, the mountains, and riding her cruiser bike.

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August 21, 2015



December 07, 2016 9:32:32 AM

To many lose ends not addressed that will still affect a carrier and Driver, they all have to be considered if a company's availability to operate is in jeopardy, or if a Driver's ability to get and keep a job are affected, this is a very important situation that needs immediate attention by the FEDs, FMCSA, MCSAC, DOT, and Congress.! This is becoming more serious all the time. I know companies that have lost contracts and work because insurance underwriters from shippers have tole the Shipper not to use a carrier because of SMS and Accident information. As well have heard and know good drivers that can't find employment because the company they worked for had some Road side problems (some of which were exaggerated by unsrcuplious local enforcement) or "Recordable accidents", no of which were the company's o drivers fault!

December 13, 2013 20:01:18 PM

Richard-That is my biggest beef with CSA-no - conviction-no points-period!

December 13, 2013 18:49:59 PM

My bad, not a Rule YET, but it's looking to soon be one. Glad to see so many comments for this.!documentDetail;D=FMCSA-2013-0457-0001

December 12, 2013 22:06:27 PM

This is not a rule it is only a request for comments concerning Road side inspections with violations that are issued a local, or state ticket.There is no final rule change, yet?? hopefully there will be soon, and other changes that DO affect the systematic balance of Fault weighted against recordable!

December 12, 2013 18:13:56 PM

Just to confirm, If a driver is in a "recordable accident" ( an accident where there is either a death, an ambulance called, or a vehicle needs to be towed) and the driver is NOT AT FAULT, the accident will STILL appear on his PSP (regardless of a citation or not) It will also be on the company SMS Nothing has changed.
I believe this is what the show was about with Admin Ferro on the trucking Solutions Group.
Drivers were upset about the fact that even when drivers are not at fault in a recordable accident, it is still posted on their PSP. Unfortunately, I believe this has not changed, even with the new FMCSA rule.

December 12, 2013 16:45:37 PM

The Notice; request for public comment, addresses violations issued and are dismissed by local, or state jurisdiction. This request for comments ONLY addresses Record able Accident data, if the Driver has been charged and has either had the case dismissed, or lowered to a lessor charge, in which this proposed regulation would allow the company and the driver to file a DATAQ and present the evidence to the Board of review and remove or lessen the points issues. Let us not confuse what a Recordable accident vs non recordable accident, as you can still have an recordable accident and not be charged. You would still have to use the current DATA Q system and with no guarantee it would be removed. Like wise if your given a Citation and have it dismissed this regulation if adopted would "REQUIRE THE STATE TO REMOVE IT" The system will still have negative affects on Violations found where no Citation was issued (Warnings). I just want to make it clear this is a very good start and I applaud the FMCSA for addressing this problem, but I still feel more needs to done to address your very opening statement in this article, a way to account the difference between fault and non fault recordable accidents form a carrier or Drivers SMS< PSP system. More drivers as well as carriers are being scrutinized with this information, and the FMCSA and DOT agree that the system is flawed as they did with the old reporting of a companies accident register. I hoe everyone will take the time to comment on this very important issue! (my comments)"As a Compliance Consultant, I have found that beating tickets associated with violations that the state are continuing to respond to DATAQ's as "NO Action Taken" after a dismissal by an Judge or officer of the court, very disturbing and unfair to small carriers as well as driver's. I have won several cases in courts and have applied for a DATAQ and have either had no response or "Action Not taken" reply's. I think will even up the field, especially for Passenger Carriers as they are held to a higher standard, and have data available through the Safer Bus link reporting safety and violation concerns. I believe this is the beginning of a good thing and by holding states accountable as well as Drivers and company's will work to the advantage to all. One problem I do see coming out of this, is by the states losing revenue in more cases, I see a return to issuing "WARNINGS" that have no judicial scrutinizing to be removed for erroneous violations. This is another important situation I feel the FMCSA has to address in the future. The next item after that will be fairness in accident reporting and more towards Fault instead of just meeting the criteria of a Recordable accident."

December 12, 2013 14:03:42 PM

This is great news !

December 12, 2013 8:54:16 AM

As the recipients of getting CSA points for an accident caused by the police chasing a car this is a big concern of ours. The issue needs to be addressed and I am glad to see this article Heather! Thanks for helping us to stay aware.

December 12, 2013 8:43:27 AM

YES-About time. I know that this was a big topic when the Trucking Solutions Group talked with Administrator Ferro.

December 12, 2013 3:51:28 AM