Survey Says: Truckers in the dark about CSA

ARLINGTON, Va. – Almost a year into CSA, truckers are still confused about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new safety monitoring program.

According to a new survey from the American Transportation Research Institute, a large majority of drivers misunderstand several parts of the system and many say CSA could end their careers.

A staggering 99 percent of respondents could not correctly identify which five carrier BASIC scores are publicly available.

The survey tries to gauge CSA’s effected the daily lives of over 4,500 drivers and owner-operators and their attitudes toward the regulatory program.

The survey says that 78 percent of drivers incorrectly believe that a carrier inherits past violations from new hires. (Only inspections that a driver receives while driving under a carrier’s authority are part of a carrier’s record).

Nearly two-thirds of drivers are "somewhat or extremely concerned" that they will lose their jobs as a result of CSA and about 25 percent say they expect they’ll make less money – although most weren’t concerned and 21 percent said their pay could increase.

As well, a whopping 87 percent believe that traffic tickets/convictions are part of FMCSA’s SMS calculations, which isn’t true. The data kept by a state (i.e. tickets, citations, written warnings, convictions) and the data that are kept in the SMS (i.e. violations from RI and crash reports) are separate.

Other highlights of the survey:

♦ 72% falsely believed that FMCSA can revoke a commercial driver’s license (CDL) as a result of CSA. However, FMCSA does not have the authority to remove drivers from their jobs and cannot be used to rate drivers or to revoke a CDL.

♦ 68.6% of drivers falsely believed that CSA takes into account a driver’s personal vehicle driving record.

♦ 58.5% of drivers thinks carrier safety regulations have changed as a result of CSA. (However, FMCSA plans to alter the carrier safety rating process for determining whether or not a carrier is unfit).

ATRI currently has a similar motor carrier survey under way.

A copy of the survey can be accessed upon request, here.

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