Drivers need to understand how CSA works. Absent that understanding, they are doomed to continue the conduct that builds up their points and your scores.
I speak at driver meetings two or three Saturday mornings a month. It is an opportunity for me to share information and provide education. In return, I am provided a very hearty, often unhealthy, breakfast. I never decline.
After the meetings in which I discuss CSA, I am often approached by the drivers. They me that I had dispelled many of the myths they had heard about the system and their scores. For example, many don’t appreciate that points come only from roadside inspections. Tickets in their personal vehicle have no CSA impact. Even tickets in their CMV don’t hit the CSA score sheet if an inspection report was not completed.
Drivers too frequently view CSA points as being beyond their control. They see them as matters of fate and destiny. A frequent comment is, “So if a light goes out when I’m running down the road and I’m pulled over, I’ll get CSA points for something I can’t control? How’s that fair?”
I first remind them that I did not create the system. I then use the opportunity to teach them the most important aspect of CSA.
You do not have to outrun the bear. You just need to outrun the other companies’ drivers. All drivers run the risk of a light going out on the road or a mudflap coming off. They need to appreciate that they can decrease their odds, and increase their position as to others.
First, pretrips need to be more than 15 minutes on their logs. Check for those lights and mudflaps before they hit the road. These are readily apparent items that can result in being pulled over with a level one inspection performed.
Second, avoid form-and-manner log violations. Violations for incomplete logs needlessly hemorrhage points. Even with electronic logs, make sure they have the explanation card in case the inspector wants to check it out.
Third, watch speed. In many states, police need “probable cause”, a legal excuse for pulling over a driver. This is often found in even the slightest excess of speed.
A national company that analyzes CSA data for companies has found that 80 percent of the points come from these types of violations while only 20% come from roadside checkpoints. For the most part, they are avoidable.
Drivers can make the difference in your CSA scores. They appreciate that the points will follow them on their PSP reports. Your education and assistance will be appreciated by them and beneficial to you.
Doug Marcello is a transportation attorney who has earned his CDL. His law practices focuses upon serving the trucking industry. Based in Central Pennsylvania, he has represented trucking companies in cases throughout the US, having been specially admitted in 35 states. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and driver safety meetings. He has also written numerous articles concerning issues confronting the industry and has produced several DVDs relating to accident response and aggressive defense of claims. All posts by Doug Marcello