CSA’s Safety Measurement System returns to public view with highway bill-stipulated changes

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Updated Jan 17, 2016
Carriers’ inspection activity is the only information available now on the CSA SMS portal.Carriers’ inspection activity is the only information available now on the CSA SMS portal.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has returned an altered CSA Safety Measurement System to public view. The recent changes follow the system’s wholesale removal from publication following passage of the FAST Act highway bill in early December. The FAST Act also requires a substantive review and reworking of the program before SMS scores for property carriers can be allowed to be made public again.

Following the Tuesday update to SMS information, FMCSA spokesman Duane Debruyne says that, with the exception of a “couple more IT issues to work through, … all the most substantive changes” to the interim public display have been made.

That means carrier BASIC category scores, the primary percentile rankings that proved to be so problematic for many, are no longer shown in the public view.

Also no longer available are the individual BASIC measures that underpinned the scores. In the past, some agency representatives had dubbed those numbers more “absolute measurements” than the comparative percentiles, and language in the highway bill allowing for the publication of absolute measures led some to speculate those numbers may remain public.

As it stands today, however, the view in each individual BASIC but the Crash Indicator shows a graph of the most recent year’s inspection history.

Beneath the graph, lists of violations and inspections associated with each BASIC, where applicable, are also available with another listing of serious violations uncovered during investigations.

In the Crash Indicator BASIC, the month-to-month number of carrier-involved crashes is graphed, and lists of each individual crash, irrespective of fault, remain.

Evaluative SMS information about passenger carriers remains available to the public, and freight carriers will still be able to access their own CSA SMS percentiles and other now-withheld information by logging into the system with their DOT-issued PIN.