Large carriers have lower scores under new CSA: report

PORTLAND, Ore. — More carriers are being flagged for safety violations under CSA than the previous SafeStat system just weeks into the program, according to TransCore.

In its analysis of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new CSA program data, TransCore found that larger carriers had significantly lower BASIC (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories) scores than smaller carriers.

The CarrierWatch CSA 2010 Industry Report focuses on about 166,000 for-hire, interstate carriers.

Other key findings include:

There are significant state-by-state and regional differences in particular BASIC scores. Carriers domiciled in certain states appear to be scored more stringently than carriers elsewhere for controlled substances, unsafe driving, fatigued driving, and vehicle maintenance.

For instance, of the 10 states with the highest rate of carrier alerts for Controlled Substances, six are in the Southest: Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia.

Not too surprising, but more carriers have alerts under CSA when compared to SafeStat. “CSA now offers potential for carriers to be scored in five categories instead of three, and an alert under CSA can be issued without any score at all.”

Still,, nearly four out of five carriers do not have any alerts.

Larger carriers are more likely to have scores, and on average, the scores will be lower than smaller carriers, TransCore found.

That’s because a small carrier is most likely to be inspected when it has previously been cited for a deficiency or if the carrier’s truck or driver is caught on the road with a violation. Larger carriers, on the other hand, are expected to receive more frequent roadside inspections simply because of the numbers involved.

“The net effect of the new safety program is that the size of the carrier and the location of its domicile and routes are among the factors that will affect the carrier’s safety scores more than ever before,” the report notes.

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