Shave a few points off CSA score by contesting lights, generic speeding violations

By CCJ Staff on

trailer lightsIs your fleet getting dinged for inoperative lamp violations on lights that aren’t actually required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program?

It’s a problem that happens fairly frequently — and unfairly — said Panther Expedited’s Irwin Shires at the Expedite Expo in Wilmington, Ohio, in July.

The “Inoperative required lamp” 393.9(a) violation is one of the most common violations written-up, but says Shires, if the ticket is being written for an inoperative lamp that is not actually required, then your carrier should submit a query on the DataQs system — CSA’s violation review system. Refer to the graphs on the right to know exactly which lights are required and therefore can be counted as violations in CSA.

Required-lamps-on-tractor Required-lamps-on-van-trailerShires also noted two other violations to contest in the DataQs system if you’ve been written up for them: Vehicle violations noted during a driver-only inspection (and vice versa) and generic speeding violations.

FMCSA policy says vehicle violations can not be marked during a driver-only inspection, and driver-related violations cannot be marked during a vehicle-only inspection.

Generic speeding violations are those given that do not make not of how much faster than the speed limit the vehicle was moving. Also, according to changes in the CSA system, violations between 1-5 mph over the speed limit should not be counted in CSA scores.

Click here to visit the DataQs website.

Click here to see CCJ‘s in-depth coverage on CSA data, including what states target what violations and the disparate enforcement between large and small carriers.

 

8 comments
Larry Gross
Larry Gross

I think you'd be better off "contesting" the violation rather than "detesting" it.

Amishtrucker
Amishtrucker

How can you have a vehicle only inspection without a driver inspection?  Level I and II inspections also include a level III inspection.  Even if an Indiana Officer uses a blatantly wrong violation on the inspection report, the state will simply change the violation to what they think it should have been in DataQ.  Again, there is no Due Process in CSA 

Hovie Campbell
Hovie Campbell

I also was written a ticket for "Accepting a load that would require me to exceed the posted speed limit in order to make a delivery on time". I started laughing when the cop gave me the ticket and ask if this was a f---ing joke. All he said was "You don't see me laughing". The next time I was stopped, in MN, this lead to  another officer spending 45 minutes with my log book, a calculator and a pc miler checking to see how fast I'd been driving between stops.

Hovie Campbell
Hovie Campbell

A cop once told me that if a light is mounted on the truck it has to be working whether it required or not.

wirycolt2
wirycolt2

 @Hovie Campbell Yes, if you have a light attached to your truck or trailer it MUST work BUT they cannot mark it against your CSA score if the light they write up is a non-required light. They almost always mark it as a non working required lamp but there is a difference.

Roxanne Mahon
Roxanne Mahon

 @wirycolt2  @Hovie Campbell Read the complete sentence, it states they must be steady burning, except for examples given, in the same sentence.

It does not state that non-required lamps must actually work.

wirycolt2
wirycolt2

 @Roxanne Mahon  @Hovie Campbell Actually Federal Regulations do state that non-required lights work. See 393.25(e) All exterior lamps (both required lamps and any additional lamps) shall be steady burning...  You can be ticketed for it not working but it cannot be marked against your CSA score because it is not a required lamp.

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