CSA: The data

By Jami Jones, senior editor | 3/16/2010

It seems like nowadays, everywhere you turn, some group, business or government entity is collecting data on you.

Credit agencies record your every financial move. Grocery stores track your every purchase with their “shopper cards.” And, now, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is going to collect every single mark made on inspection reports and from crash reports.

FMCSA will calculate safety performance of motor carriers – which includes owner-operators running under their own authority – based on seven Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories. Those seven categories, dubbed BASICs, and the federal regulations they relate to are:

  • Unsafe driving (Parts 392 and 397);
  • Fatigued driving (Parts 392 and 395);
  • Driver fitness (Parts 383 and 391);
  • Controlled substances/alcohol (Parts 382 and 392);
  • Vehicle Maintenance (Parts 393 and 396);
  • Cargo related (Parts 392, 393, 397 and hazmat); and
  • Crash indicator.

Data from those seven areas will be collected from inspections and crash reports.

Things will change dramatically in how information from inspection reports is handled. While the current system only calculates a safety fitness rating based on “out-of-service” and moving violations, that won’t be the case with CSA 2010. All violations included on inspections will be entered – no matter if it was an out-of-service violation or not.

Another significant change from the current enforcement system CSA 2010 will also be collecting data on individual drivers – although drivers will only encounter enforce action if the motor carrier is subject to an intervention.

Records on individual drivers will contain three years worth of data gleaned from inspection and incident reports. The data will follow the driver no matter how many companies he or she works for.

Access to a driver’s profile will not be restricted to safety inspectors – who will have roadside access to those records. Motor carriers are also going to be allowed to review inspection data in the pre-employment screening process.

The database will hold 24 months of citation and violation data on motor carriers and 36 months for drivers.

All of this data will be housed and maintained by a third-party vendor, not FMCSA. NIC Technologies based in Olathe, KS, was awarded the contract in mid-October 2009.

According to FMCSA, if a motor carrier or a driver wants to review their profile, the only options are to contact the third party vendor or file a Freedom of Information Act request with FMCSA.

NIC’s press release announcing the awarding of the contract stated that the company anticipates charging motor carriers a subscription fee of $100 per year for access to driver profiles and a $10 transaction fee for each record pulled. Drivers will not be charged the annual subscription fee; however, additional fees will be charged for fax or mail requests.

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