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Road Law
FYI: CSA 2010

By Jeff McConnell & James Mennella
attorneys at law


We’ve received hundreds of calls asking about the reporting requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 Operation Model. Built into this new CSA model is the Safety Measurement System or “SMS.” The SMS replaces SafeStat.

As explained by the U.S. DOT, the CSA Safety Measurement System “ … quantifies the on-road safety performance of carriers and drivers to identify candidates for interventions, to determine the specific safety problems exhibited by a carrier or driver and to monitor whether safety problems are improving or worsening.”

Translation: If a citation or violation is noted on an inspection report, whether you’re guilty or not, whether you’re convicted of the charge or not, simply having the citation or violation written on the report is all it takes to have the charge appear on your company’s Carrier Safety Measurement System (CSMS) and your Driver Safety Measurement System (DSMS) profiles.

But what about the situations where you receive a citation and it’s noted on the inspection report, but the court agrees to modify or amend your original charge? Does your original charge still appear on the motor carrier and driver profiles?

Q: I received a traffic ticket that was noted on my inspection report for “Speeding 70 in a 60 mph zone.” The officer told me that if I pay the ticket before the due date, the ticket wouldn’t appear on my motor vehicle record. I mailed a money order to the court to pay my ticket before the due date and, just like the officer told me, the ticket never appeared on my MVR.

Later, the company I’m leased to called me and said this ticket is still on my CSA 2010 driver profile. I told them that the ticket was dismissed and that it wasn’t even on my MVR but they terminated my lease anyway. Is there anything I can do now to take the ticket off my driver profile?

A: Probably not. To make the CSA 2010 process understandable, let’s get some terms straight. Your MVR usually lists all accidents you were involved in, moving/non-moving traffic infraction/misdemeanor convictions and all administrative actions – i.e., suspensions and/or disqualifications. Don’t confuse convictions with inspection reports.

Your problem isn’t a conviction appearing on your MVR. Your problem is the CSA 2010 driver profile that was generated by having the ticket noted on your inspection. So, the ticket or citation is now appearing on your driver profile.

Remember, CSA 2010 isn’t about convictions. CSA 2010 is about record-keeping. So, according to CSA 2010, all accidents, administrative actions and traffic tickets noted on inspection reports – whether you’re ever convicted of the traffic ticket charge or not – will now appear on your CSA 2010 driver profile and your motor carrier’s CSA 2010 safety rating.

That’s right, simply receiving a traffic ticket and having it noted on an inspection report is sufficient for it to be calculated into the CSA 2010 motor carrier safety rating and reported to your driver profile.

Q: I was stopped in California by the highway patrol. The officer told me that one of my load straps appeared to have come loose, and I explained that it was just the end of the strap flapping in the wind. The officer said that I should tie the end of the strap down so it wouldn’t flap and I did.

He also did a quick inspection and noted the violation on the inspection report. But before the officer left, he gave me a written warning. He said that it wasn’t a “real” ticket, that it was only a warning and that there were no fines or costs owed.

I didn’t think much more about the stop until my company safety director told me the warning had appeared on the company’s safety rating and my driver profile. This isn’t fair! I didn’t even get a real ticket … just a warning. Why would a warning be listed and what can I do to have it taken off my record?

A: There may be very little you can do to have the warning removed and here’s why. It’s certainly true that your warning wasn’t an actual charge or ticket and that there’s no conviction of any charge. But, unfortunately, it was noted as a violation on your inspection report. So, even a simple written warning that’s included on an inspection report is enough to generate a posting to your driver profile and count against the company’s safety rating.

Again, simply stated, CSA is a record-keeping device and anything noted on an inspection or crash report that even allegedly quantifies your on-road safety performance is going to be collected as data. LL


Editor’s note: Next issue, Road Law will discuss the process for challenging CSA 2010 data.

Send any questions or comments regarding transportation law to:
Jeff McConnell and
James Mennella, Road Law, 3441 W. Memorial, Suite 4, Oklahoma City,
OK 73134, call 405-242-2030,
fax 405-242-2040, or e-mail