CSA Reform within the Transportation Bill

The “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” or FAST Act (Transportation Bill) contains extensive reform language dealing with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) initiative. A major provision within the CSA reform removes from public view all information regarding analysis of violations, crashes in which a determination is made that the motor carrier or commercial motor vehicle driver is not at fault, alerts, or the relative percentile for each BASIC until corrective action is taken. All this information will be removed from public view within one day of signing this report into law. With that being said, all inspection and violation information submitted to FMCSA by law enforcement and inspectors along with out-of-service rates, and “absolute measures” will remain publicly available.

The FAST Act will require the National Research Council of the National Academics to conduct a study within 18 months on the following key aspects of the CSA initiative:

  • Accuracy with which BASICs:
    o Identify high-risk carriers; and
    o Predict or correlate with future crash risk.
  • The methodology used to calculate BASIC percentiles and identify carriers for enforcement, including weights assigned to particular violations and the tie between crash risks.
  • The relative value of inspection information and roadside enforcement data.
  • Any data collection gaps or data sufficiency problems.
  • The accuracy of safety data, including the use of crash data from crashes in which a motor carrier was free from fault.
  • Whether BASIC percentiles for motor carriers of passengers should be calculated separately from motor carriers of freight.
  • The difference in the rates at which safety violations are reported to FMCSA by various enforcement authorities, including States, territories, and Federal inspectors.