The FMCSA has recently announced changes to numerous systems and ways to track violations, this includes the CSA BASICs, roadside violations, and severity weights, among others. In this blog, we will go over the main changes that can directly affect your business. First, let’s dive into the changes made to the BASICs categories.
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that the CSA BASICs categories will now be called Safety Categories.
Here are the new safety categories:
These changes will be implemented as of March 15th, 2023, although actual enforcement may not begin until later in the year.
FMCSA CHANGES – REORGANIZING ROADSIDE VIOLATIONS
As part of the changes the FMCSA is making to their violation measuring system, they are creating new violation groups to reorganize roadside violations specifically.
From now on, the same types of violations will be grouped and counted as one violation in a specific safety category. For example, if a driver incurs in two types of HOS violations, they will be cited for both during a roadside inspection.
In other words, one Roadside Violation group will encompass all the violations discovered during the roadside inspection, which will be included in the intervention thresholds.
Here are all the violation groups; for the breakdown of specific violations, click here:
These are just the groups of violations and it’s not a comprehensive list of all the violations included in each group. We know this can be extremely overwhelming, since avoiding these possible violations is part of your job. If you need help navigating the changes in the FMCSA CSA system, contact one of our DOT Safety Compliance experts today, and let us help you stay prepared.
FMCSA CHANGES: SIMPLIFIED SEVERITY WEIGHTS AND MORE
Now, let’s review the rest of the FMCSA safety modifications announced. This overview is meant to be a revision of the most significant modifications in order for you to stay informed and updated with all the latest industry trends and changes.
SIMPLIFIED SEVERITY WEIGHTS
The new method to assess the severity of a violation will change from a 10-point system, where 1 meant not severe and 10 the most severe. Now, there will be a binary system where violations will be given a weight of either 1 or 2.
All violations will get a severity weight of 1, except multiple violations in the same group, all out-of-service violations, and driver-disqualifying violations.
IMPROVED INTERVENTION THRESHOLDS
The most important change for intervention thresholds is the following:
Driver Fitness increases from:
The new Vehicle Maintenance Safety Categories (Driver Observed and Vehicle Maintenance) will keep the same thresholds as the previous Vehicle Maintenance BASIC.
Additionally, the Hazardous Materials threshold will increase from 80% to 90% for all carriers.
In an effort to minimize the significant changes in a trucking company’s SMS score that result from using SMS cutoff values, the FMCSA will implement proportionate percentiles.
The proportionate percentiles will consider the precise number of inspections and crashes when assigning a percentile to MCs.
GREATER FOCUS ON RECENT VIOLATIONS
From now on, the FMCSA will only take into consideration violations that occurred in the previous 12 months. Anything outside of that time frame will not be considered when assigning a percentile score but will be considered under the new SMS system.
UPDATED UTILIZATION FACTOR
The FMCSA will increase the upper limit of the Vehicle Miles Travelled to 250,00 miles per year. This may or may not affect your business, but it is a small change that the FMCSA is implementing moving forward.
The Hazardous Material and Driver Fitness Safety Categories will now be segmented when calculating them, just as the Unsafe Driving category is also segmented.
The Hazardous Materials segmentation consists of Cargo Tank and Non-Cargo Tank Carriers.
The Driver Fitness segmentation is Straight and Combination Carriers.
ACCOUNTING FOR NOT PREVENTABLE CRASHES
The FMCSA will keep using the Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP) to assess how preventable a crash is. If it’s deemed preventable, it will be considered for SMS calculations.
For more information about the CPDP click here.
These changes will start on March 15th but will most likely take effect in the third quarter of this year.
For more information or help understanding these changes contact our DOT Safety Compliance experts, so you can get the help you need before these changes are implemented.