FMCSA Opens CSA Data to Public Following Court’s Denial of Suit

By | December 14, 2010

Posted by JD Rex, Practice Leader of Trucking and Transportation at The Buckner Company.

FMCSA launched the new CSA2010 SMS (Safety Measurement System) web site yesterday and removed SafeStat.  The link to the public side of the SMS is http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMS/Default.aspx using the light blue section at the top right of the page.

The best explanation that I have read regarding recent FMCSA changes came from the Kansas Motor Carrier Association this morning.  Here is a copy of their article:

By Truckinginfo.com Staff

The next stage of the Federal Motor Carrier Administration’s CSA 2010 safety program went live over the weekend, after a federal appeals court denied a suit by several groups of small trucking companies to prevent release of CSA safety data.

Motor Carrier Safety Measurement System (SMS) data — the system that replaces SafeStat under CSA 2010 — is now available at http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov.With this official rollout, the program is now known as Compliance, Safety, Accountability. (A change from CSA 2010, when the CSA stood for Comprehensive Safety Analysis.)

Interested parties can go to http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMS/Data/Search.aspx, then enter a carrier’s DOT or MC number, or search for a carrier by name and state. The search will return a line of data that includes the carrier’s Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) scores.

There was some question as to whether the data would go live because of a pending lawsuit. But in a one-page order posted Friday afternoon, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the carriers did not meet the standards for a stay pending court review. (See “Carrier Groups Sue to Halt CSA 2010 Safety Data Publication,11/30/2010.)

Ken Siegel of the Washington, D.C., law firm Strasburger & Price, said the carriers are deciding how they want to proceed. An appeal is possible.

Siegel represents the National Association of Small Trucking Companies, the Expedite Alliance of North America and the Air & Expedited Motor Carriers Association. These groups, which claim to represent about 2,750 small carriers, say that FMCSA has not followed proper procedures in its plan to publish carriers’ scores in CSA 2010’s seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories, or BASICs.

Meanwhile, FMCSA has gone ahead with its long-standing plan to expand access to the data beyond the carriers themselves, to the public at large.

For an explanation of the new system, and to get access to the data, go to http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Here is an example of a motor carrier that has a deficient BASIC.  Note the FMCSA made 2 changes in the way this page is displayed.  The the term “Deficient” was changed to “Alert” and the color displayed for an “Alert” BASIC is orange, not red.  I believe this is a good idea because these changes should soften the public’s impression of a deficient BASIC.

Click on each BASIC category in the left column to see more detailed information.  For example, this is part of what I see when I click on Fatigued Driving.


JD Rex is the Practice Leader in our Trucking and Transportation Department.  Please contact him with any questions related to your trucking and transportation insurance needs.  801.937.6700 or jrex@buckner.com


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