Skip to Content
For your protection, your login session will expire in 0:00, do you wish extend your session or Logout?
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Your Role > Other Stakeholders
sidebar top
sidebar bottom

Other Stakeholders

CSA: Increasing safety is our business
Stay Connected

The entire freight industry and other related fields, such as the insurance industry, have an interest in improving the safety of commercial motor vehicles. Safety is good practice—and good business. This page provides vital information to help you understand your roles and responsibilities under FMCSA’s new Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program.

Other Stakeholders
Click to begin This toolkit provides useful information for Other Stakeholders. Scroll through toolkit items by selecting the arrows along the bottom or jump to a specific item by selecting a number. You can also download the entire toolkit as a zipped file by selecting “Download Entire Toolkit” (ZIP, 9.6 MB)
Unsafe Driving BASIC Factsheet
>>
Unsafe Driving BASIC Factsheet This Unsafe Driving Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) factsheet gives an overview of the BASIC for motor carriers and drivers.
Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance BASIC Factsheet
>>
Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance BASIC Factsheet This Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) factsheet gives an overview of the BASIC for motor carriers and drivers.
Driver Fitness BASIC Factsheet
>>
Driver Fitness BASIC Factsheet This Driver Fitness Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) factsheet gives an overview of the BASIC for motor carriers and drivers.
Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASIC Factsheet
>>
Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASIC Factsheet This Controlled Substances/Alcohol Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) factsheet gives an overview of the BASIC for motor carriers and drivers.
Vehicle Maintenance BASIC Factsheet
>>
Vehicle Maintenance BASIC Factsheet This Vehicle Maintenance Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) factsheet gives an overview of the BASIC for motor carriers and drivers.
Crash Indicator BASIC Factsheet
>>
Crash Indicator BASIC Factsheet This Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) factsheet gives an overview of the BASIC for motor carriers and drivers.
Introduction to the Safety Measurement System
>>
Introduction to the Safety Measurement System This 58 slide PowerPoint presentation gives a very detailed overview of how the Safety Measurement System works. It also touches on most other things related to CSA in less depth.
Just The Facts for Drivers Factsheet
Updated!
>>
Just The Facts for Drivers Factsheet This factsheet is a quick reference guide for drivers to help them Get Road Smart about their safety and compliance information and their carrier’s, too. It includes facts on PSP, the SMS, and DataQs.
Safety Measurement System Factsheet
>>
Safety Measurement System Factsheet Overview of the Safety Measurement System (SMS).
SMS Methodology
Updated!
>>
SMS Methodology Learn more about the methodology developed to support CSA.
Appendix A (XLSX, 89 KB)
Scroll Left
Scroll Right
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

The CSA toolkits contain resources to help key stakeholders communicate important, CSA-related information to others who need to know about it. Materials are tailored to each audience, addressing useful information about CSA, such as the SMS, the BASICs, and frequently asked questions. Each toolkit includes different types of documents  briefings, factsheets, brochures, and tipsheets – that can be used for different purposes (i.e. as presentations, handouts, etc.). We encourage you to use any and all documents that are appropriate for your needs. You can download and print individual documents, or download the complete toolkit by selecting the “Download Complete Toolkit” option.

Additional Resources
Other Stakeholder Resource Center
Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) SMS Icon Safety Measurement System (SMS) CSA Icon

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

  • CSA Overview
  • SFD
  • Op-Model Test
  • Navigate CSA
  • Non-CSA

CSA Overview

  1. What is Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)? Answer

    Originally, CSA stood for “Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010.” However, as national implementation of CSA rolled out in December 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) transitioned the program, removing the “2010” and renaming the program “Compliance, Safety, Accountability.” CSA is a new FMCSA safety program to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately prevent crashes, injuries, and fatalities related to commercial motor vehicles. It introduces a new enforcement and compliance model that allows FMCSA and its State Partners to contact more carriers earlier in order to address safety deficiencies before crashes occur. The program establishes a new nationwide system for making the roads safer for motor carriers and the public alike.

    (link)
  2. Why is Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) being implemented? Answer

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) mission is to improve safety by preventing crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. Over the past few years, the rate of crash reduction has leveled off, prompting FMCSA to take a new look at how the Agency evaluates the safety of motor carriers and drivers and to explore ways to improve its safety monitoring, evaluation, and intervention processes. CSA is the result of this comprehensive examination. CSA enables FMCSA and its State Partners to assess the safety performance of a greater segment of the industry and intervene with more carriers to change unsafe behavior early.

    (link)
  3. What is the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Operational Model? Answer

    The CSA Operational Model is the new way the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and its State Partners implement commercial motor vehicle compliance and enforcement programs.

    The CSA Operational Model has three major components:

    1. A new Safety Measurement System — CSA measures safety performance in new more comprehensive ways using inspection and crash results to identify carriers whose behaviors could reasonably lead to crashes.
    2. A new intervention process — CSA helps FMCSA and its State Partners correct high-risk behavior by contacting more carriers and drivers with a comprehensive interventions process. This interventions process is designed to more efficiently and effectively correct safety deficiencies by tailoring the Safety Investigator's process to the carrier's specific safety problem(s).
    3. A safety ratings process — CSA proposes a safety fitness determination methodology that is based on roadside performance and crash data.
    (link)
  4. Does Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) impact me? Answer

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) regulations remained the same after CSA implementation in December 2010, though CSA does change how FMCSA prioritizes carriers for enforcement and how it enforces compliance. Generally, CSA affects carriers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), carriers transporting passengers or cargo in interstate commerce, and carriers of hazardous materials in intrastate commerce, but may also include carriers whose State requires that they obtain a U.S. DOT Number. FMCSA has provided detailed answers to questions about the general applicability of the FMCSRs.

    (link)
  5. Are carriers from Canada and Mexico impacted by Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)? Answer

    Generally, CSA affects Mexican and Canadian carriers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), carriers transporting passengers or cargo in interstate commerce, and carriers of hazardous materials in intrastate commerce. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has provided detailed answers to questions about the general applicability of the FMCSRs.

    (link)
  6. What is Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) at the highest level? Answer

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) regulations remained the same after CSA implementation in December 2010, though CSA does change how FMCSA prioritizes carriers for enforcement and how it enforces compliance. Generally, CSA affects carriers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), carriers transporting passengers or cargo in interstate commerce, and carriers of hazardous materials in intrastate commerce. CSA may also include carriers whose State requires that they obtain a U.S. DOT Number. FMCSA has provided detailed answers to questions about the general applicability of the FMCSRs. CSA will enact three major changes:

    1. There is a new Safety Measurement System (SMS) that gives a more comprehensive profile of carriers and drivers, better pinpoints the source(s) of safety problems, and more effectively identifies high crash-risk behavior. It is important that all FMCSA stakeholders understand the new SMS. To better understand how SMS works, read the SMS Methodology, and this SMS factsheet.
    2. There is a new interventions process as well as state-of-the-art tools that are more efficient and effective in the enforcement and compliance process. They institute a wider range of interventions to influence compliance earlier and match intervention to the corresponding level of safety performance. It is important that all FMCSA stakeholders understand this new interventions process. The interventions are outlined in this factsheet.
    3. There is a proposed change to the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD). The proposed change will assess the safety performance of a larger segment of industry. Furthermore, it will be based on roadside performance and intervention results, and ratings will be updated more often in order to convey current safety conditions. Once the final rule is passed, it will be important for all FMCSA stakeholders to understand it. To read more on the new proposed SFD, refer to pages 53487-53488 of this rulemaking notice located on FMCSA's Website.
    (link)
  7. What regulation changes does Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) bring? Answer

    CSA has not changed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), but it has changed how the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) operates in enforcing the FMCSRs. In the future, FMCSA will consider a new methodology for determining the safety fitness of motor carriers, which is currently accomplished through the safety rating process described in Appendix B of 49 CFR Part 385. Such potential changes will be carried out through formal notice and comment rulemaking procedures.

    (link)
  8. What is the timeline for CSA implementation? Answer

    • February 2008 — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launches a partial application of the CSA Operational Model Test (Op-Model Test) in Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, and New Jersey.
    • 2009 — Five additional States join the CSA Op-Model Test group: Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, and Montana.
    • April 12 - November 30, 2010 — Motor carriers can preview their own data by seeing their roadside inspections/violations and crash events organized by Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC).
    • Summer 2010
      • June 30 — The Op-Model Test ends.
      • July — The four Test States partially applying the CSA Op-Model (Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, and New Jersey) fully switch over to CSA, bringing the total CSA Test States to nine.
      • August
        • The Safety Measurement System (SMS) Methodology is modified to increase its effectiveness.
        • Motor carriers can see an assessment of their violations based on the new motor carrier SMS, which replaces SafeStat later in 2010.
    • December 2010
      • The SMS replaces SafeStat. The SMS is available to the public, including shippers and insurance companies.
      • The SMS Methodology is modified to increase its effectiveness.
      • FMCSA/States prioritize enforcement using the SMS.
      • FMCSA begins to issue warning letters to carriers with BASICs that exceed the threshold within their respective BASIC.
      • Roadside inspectors use the SMS results to identify carriers for inspection.
    • 2011
      • Safety Fitness Determination Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is scheduled to be released.
      • Enforcement staff will be trained and new interventions will be implemented State-by-State.

    (link)

SFD

  1. How are safety ratings handled under Compliance, Safety, Accountability? Answer

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) intends to propose replacing the current safety rating process, which determines safety through a compliance review with a new Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) that will incorporate the Safety Measurement System results to determine safety fitness. The SFD Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be released in 2013. The SFD will need to go through the entire rulemaking process before it becomes law. Until the proposed SFD becomes final, FMCSA will continue to use the current safety rating process as outlined in 49 CFR Part 385. Current safety ratings can be found here: Safety and Fitness Electronic Records.

    (link)
  2. What is the proposed approach for the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD)? Answer

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses the safety rating methodology as outlined in 49 CFR Part 385 and will continue to use this methodology until the rulemaking process is completed. Accordingly, just like today, a motor carrier will receive an Unsatisfactory safety rating following an onsite review if FMCSA determines that the carrier's safety management controls fail to meet the safety fitness standard outlined in 49 CFR Part 385. There are four important differences between FMCSA's current safety rating methodology and the proposed Compliance, Safety, Accountability SFD:

    Newly Proposed SFD Existing SFD
    Not exclusively tied to Onsite Investigations Only to be issued or downgraded via an Onsite Investigation/compliance review
    Updated regularly Provides a snapshot of compliance only on the date of the most recent compliance review
    Based on violations of all safety-based regulations Based only on Critical and Acute Violations
    (link)
  3. What determines "Unfit" in terms of process and score for motor carriers? Answer

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses the safety rating methodology as outlined in 49 CFR Part 385 and will continue to use this methodology until the rulemaking process is completed. Accordingly, following current procedures, a motor carrier will receive an Unsatisfactory safety rating following an onsite review if FMCSA determines that the carrier's safety management controls fail to meet the safety fitness standard outlined in 49 CFR Part 385.

    (link)
  4. What is the next step in the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) timeline? Answer

    The SFD Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is scheduled to be released in 2013.

    (link)
  5. How will the proposed Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) handle crashes? Answer

    In the short-term, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will consider for its proposed rule on SFD keeping intact the current SFD approach of including only preventable crashes in cases where the crash rate can lead to an adverse safety fitness determination. FMCSA will determine whether each crash is preventable as part of an investigation or a compliance review as described in 49 CFR Part 385 Appendix B. At this time, FMCSA is not considering using the Safety Measurement System (SMS) Crash Indicator results for determining safety fitness, as these SMS results currently do not consider crash preventability or accountability.

    (link)

Op-Model Test

  1. Which States were in the Operational Model Test (Op-Model Test)? Answer

    The Op-Model Test was implemented in the following States: Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, and New Jersey. Although the Op-Model Test ended on June 30, 2010, these States still use the new Safety Measurement System and all interventions.

    (link)
  2. What was the Operational Model Test (Op-Model Test)? Answer

    The Op-Model Test was a field test of the new Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Safety Measurement System (SMS) and comprehensive intervention process, which began in four States in February 2008 and five additional States in 2009. During the Op-Model Test, a representative sample of interstate motor carriers within the States of Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, and New Jersey were measured in the SMS and subjected to interventions, while another representative set of carriers (a control group) within the four States were subject to the existing compliance and enforcement process. Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, and Montana were also part of the Op-Model Test; however, all carriers in these States were measured in SMS and subjected to interventions. The test lasted 30 months and ended on June 30, 2010.

    (link)
  3. What are the results of the Operational Model Test (Op-Model Test)? Answer

    A third party, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), formally evaluated the Op-Model Test and the report is forthcoming. The evaluation compares the test group to the control group in the four original Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Test States and examines the impact of the program on the five additional Test States.

    Early feedback from enforcement staff using the Safety Measurement System (SMS) and conducting new interventions was positive. Preliminary results from the Op-Model Test suggested that CSA offers a more efficient, effective means of identifying and intervening with motor carriers that have demonstrated safety performance issues. In particular, the Op-Model Test demonstrated the following:

    • CSA enables enforcement staff to investigate more carriers with safety deficiencies using the same number of resources.
    • The warning letter is encouraging carriers to recognize and address their safety deficiencies earlier, and carriers are responding.
    • CSA is having a positive impact on motor carrier performance in behavior areas significantly related to crash risk, particularly in the Unsafe Driving and Hours-of-Service Compliance Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories.
    • SMS offers a better assessment of carrier safety performance and a more effective means of identifying motor carriers that pose a high crash-risk.
    (link)

Navigate CSA

  1. What's the best way to keep up with what is happening with Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)? Answer

    Keep up with the latest information on CSA as it becomes available by signing up for the email subscription service or RSS feed and by periodically reviewing the CSA Website.

    (link)
  2. Can someone from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) speak about Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) at our organization? Answer

    To request a speaker to address CSA at your organization, contact your State's FMCSA Division office. You can also make speaker requests via the CSA feedback system, which will add your request for a CSA speaker to a list of similar requests. If and when CSA speakers become available, the Agency will contact you. Stakeholders can also call FMCSA Communications at 202-366-9999.

    (link)
  3. Can you mail out information to help educate carriers and drivers about Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)? Answer

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does not have a budget for printing and mailing CSA material to the public. However, there are many free downloadable and printable documents available on the CSA Website.

    (link)
  4. How do I acquire more information on the new proposed Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations? Answer

    To learn more about Federal HOS requirements, please visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Website at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/hos-proposed/statement.aspx .

    (link)
  5. Where can I go to have my Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) questions answered? Answer

    Questions about CSA can be answered at the CSA Website through one of three methods:

    1. Browse the CSA Website's Resources Page, which has many documents covering the different aspects of CSA.
    2. Search the website's Frequently Asked Questions.
    3. If the first two methods are unsuccessful, submit your question at the CSA Feedback Page or call the Communications & Outreach Team at 877-254-5365 to receive an answer directly.
    (link)
  6. Do you have copies of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) logo available for public use on websites and in newsletters? Answer

    Information on the CSA logo can be found here: http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Stay_Connected.aspx#branding

    (link)
  7. Where can a motor carrier get more information on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program? Answer

Non-CSA

  1. Where can I find the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations? Answer

    FMCSA's regulations can be found here. FMCSA’s A Motor Carrier's Guide to Improving Highway Safety is also designed to assist motor carriers in understanding and complying with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

    (link)
  2. Who can help me answer non-Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) questions? Answer

    Most FMCSA questions that are unrelated to CSA can be answered either by FMCSA Headquarters at 1-800-832-5660 or by State FMCSA field offices.

    (link)

Safety Measurement System (SMS)

  • SMS Overview
  • SMS Algorithm
  • Crash Data
  • SMS Online

SMS Overview

  1. What is the motor carrier Safety Measurement System (SMS)? Answer

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) SMS is an automated system that quantifies the on-road safety performance of motor carriers so that FMCSA can identify unsafe carriers, prioritize them for intervention, and monitor if a motor carrier's safety and compliance problem is improving.

    The SMS is not a Safety Fitness Determination nor is it a safety rating pursuant to 49 CFR Part 385; also, it does not represent FMCSA's final determination about the safety of the carrier. Use of the SMS for purposes other than those identified above may produce unintended results and inaccurate conclusions.

    FMCSA highly recommends that all motor carriers periodically review the SMS and, when necessary, initiate a Request for Data Review through DataQs, an electronic data correcting system. The DataQs system is available online at http://dataqs.fmcsa.dot.gov .

    (link)
  2. How is the Safety Measurement System (SMS) used? Answer

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration uses the SMS to:

    • Identify motor carriers for interventions, such as warning letters, investigations, or roadside inspections.
    • Determine the specific safety problems of the carrier to focus on during an intervention.
    • Monitor motor carrier noncompliance issues over time.
    (link)
  3. Where does the Safety Measurement System (SMS) get its data from? Answer

    SMS gets a monthly snapshot of data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) national database, the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). SMS pulls the previous 24 months of roadside inspection data from MCMIS and State-reported commercial motor vehicle crashes and motor carrier registration/Census data and results from Federal and State investigations conducted within the previous 12 months.

    (link)
  4. What's the difference between SafeStat and the new Safety Measurement System (SMS)? Answer

    The SMS quantifies the on-road safety performance of motor carriers to identify candidates for interventions and to monitor whether compliance problems are improving or worsening. The SMS also uses investigation findings and notifies a carrier with the triangle icon when it has exceeded the threshold within each of the seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) where a serious violation has been discovered. The SMS has replaced the SafeStat measurement system as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's tool to prioritize motor carriers for potential intervention.

    The differences between the two systems are shown in the table below:

    SMS SafeStat
    Organized by seven BASICs Organized in four broad categories known as Safety Evaluation Areas (SEAs)
    Identifies safety problems to determine whom to investigate and where to focus the investigation Identified motor carriers for a compliance review
    Emphasizes on-road safety performance using all safety-based inspection violations Originated from roadside inspections and used only out-of-service and moving violations
    Violations are weighted based on their relationship to crash risk Violations not weighted based on their relationship to crash risk
    SMS will eventually be used to propose adverse safety fitness determination based on a carrier's own data SafeStat has no impact on an entity's safety fitness rating
    SMS provides a tool that allows investigators to identify drivers with safety problems during carrier investigations. SafeStat does not provide a tool that allows investigators to identify drivers with safety problems during carrier investigations.
    (link)
  5. Does the Safety Measurement System (SMS) use the old Safety Evaluation Area (SEA) values to determine the new Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs)? Answer

    SEA values derived from the former SafeStat measurement system will not be used in any way in the SMS. The SMS evaluates the previous 24 months of roadside inspection and crash data.

    (link)
  6. What are the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs)? Which violations correspond to which BASIC? Answer

    The Safety Measurement System (SMS) is organized into seven BASICs, which represent behaviors that can lead to crashes. The BASICs were developed based on information from a number of studies that quantify the associations between violations and crash risk, as well as statistical analysis and input from enforcement subject matter experts.

    The BASICs are defined as follows:

    1. Unsafe Driving — Operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) by drivers in a dangerous or careless manner. Example Violations: Speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, and inattention. (FMCSR Parts 392 and 397)
    2. Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance — Operation of CMVs by drivers who are ill, fatigued, or in noncompliance with the HOS regulations. This BASIC includes violations of regulations pertaining to logbooks as they relate to HOS requirements and the management of CMV driver fatigue. Example Violations: HOS, logbook, and operating a CMV while ill or fatigued. (FMCSR Parts 392 and 395)
    3. Driver Fitness Operation of CMVs by drivers who are unfit to operate a CMV due to lack of training, experience, or medical qualifications. Example Violations: Failure to have a valid and appropriate commercial driver's license and being medically unqualified to operate a CMV. (FMCSR Parts 383 and 391)
    4. Controlled Substances/Alcohol — Operation of CMVs by drivers who are impaired due to alcohol, illegal drugs, and misuse of prescription or over-the-counter medications. Example Violations: Use or possession of controlled substances/alcohol. (FMCSR Parts 382 and 392)
    5. Vehicle Maintenance — Failure to properly maintain a CMV and prevent shifting loads. Example Violations: Brakes, lights, and other mechanical defects, improper load securement, and failure to make required repairs. (FMCSR Parts 392, 393, and 396)
    6. Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance — Unsafe handling of hazardous materials (HM) on a CMV. Example violations: leaking containers, improper placarding, improperly packaged HM. (FMCSR Part 397 and U.S. DOT HM Regulations Parts 171, 172, 173, 177, 178, 179 & 180)
    7. Crash Indicator — Histories or patterns of high crash involvement, including frequency and severity. It is based on information from State-reported crashes.
    (link)

SMS Algorithm

  1. How are the Safety Measurement System (SMS) percentile ranks calculated? Answer

    SMS evaluates the safety of individual motor carriers by considering all safety-based roadside inspection violations, not just out-of service violations, as well as State-reported crashes, using 24 months of performance data. SMS assesses motor carriers' safety performance in each of the seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs): Unsafe Driving, Hours-of-Service Compliance, Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Vehicle Maintenance, Hazardous Materials Compliance, and Crash Indicator.

    SMS calculates a measure for each BASIC by combining the time and severity weighted violations/crashes (more recent violations are weighted more heavily), normalized by exposure, which is a statistical calculation that allows SMS to make a fair comparison between carriers with different levels of activity (e.g., a hybrid of the number of Power Units per Vehicle Miles Traveled or the number of relevant inspections). The SMS converts each carrier's BASIC measures into percentiles based on rank relative to carriers with similar safety event groupings (i.e., number of relevant inspections, number of inspections with violations, or number of crashes).

    The SMS is updated monthly, taking a snapshot of data on the third or last Friday of each month, and takes approximately 10 business days to process and validate the data before it is uploaded on the website. These dates are estimates and are subject to change; if there are problems with the validation, the process could take longer than expected.

    To understand more about the BASICS, review the SMS factsheet and briefings on the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Website. For even more detail, review the SMS Methodology document. The document outlines which values are assigned for each violation and how they are weighted in Appendix A, starting on page A-4 in the SMS Methodology document.

    (link)
  2. How does time-weighting work? Answer

    Violations are impacted by time severity; that is, more recent violations are weighted more heavily. Violations that occurred within the last six months count three times, violations that occurred between six months and a year ago count twice, and violations between one and two years old count only once. After two years, violations do not count at all in the Safety Measurement System.

    (link)
  3. What is a “clean inspection?” Answer

    A “clean inspection” is when a relevant roadside inspection did not result in any violations for a particular Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC). Safety inspections with no violations can improve a carrier's Safety Measurement System (SMS) results. For example, when a carrier has no BASIC violations related to the Hours-of-Service Compliance, Driver Fitness, and/or Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASICs from a Drive r Inspection (Level I, II, III or VI), this clean inspection will lower the associated BASIC measure. Similarly, when a carrier does not have any BASIC violations related to the Vehicle Maintenance and/or Hazardous Materials Compliance BASICs from a Vehicle Inspection (Level I, II, V or VI), this clean inspection will lower the associated BASIC measure. Roughly one-third of the 3.5 million inspections that are uploaded each year have zero violations.

    (link)
  4. How does the Safety Measurement System (SMS) handle warning tickets for speeding? Answer

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has conducted effectiveness testing on the Unsafe Driving Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Carrier Safety Measurement System (CSMS), as it is currently calculated using all recorded moving violations without regard to whether a citation was issued. Put in simple terms, the analysis demonstrates that there is a strong relationship between high scores in the Unsafe Driving BASIC, as derived by including all recorded moving violations, and future crashes. From a legal standpoint, the agency's use of warnings as one factor in the selection of an intervention does not constitute deprivation of a property interest for which a due process procedure is required. FMCSA has, however, as part of its attempt at further effectiveness analysis, reviewed the existing inspection data to determine if it is feasible to exclude recorded moving violations from consideration by the CSMS when a citation is not issued. At this time, it is not feasible. A free-form text field exists whereby an enforcement officer can enter whether a citation was issued. However, the completeness and accuracy of this field is not sufficient to employ in the CSMS at this time.

    To address this issue, FMCSA is considering the addition of a simple Yes/No field to indicate whether a citation was issued in conjunction with the recorded speeding violation. Furthermore, based upon concerns expressed by the American Trucking Associations and motor carriers participating in our CSA Operational Model Test, FMCSA is implementing modifications to the roadside inspection software that its field staff and our State Partners use that will require roadside officers to designate the severity of speeding offenses recorded on roadside inspections. For example, the enforcement officer will have to designate whether the recorded speeding violation was 1 - 5 miles per hour (MPH) over the speed limit, 6 - 10 MPH over, etc. Moving forward, this will allow FMCSA to assign less weight to the less severe speeding violations in the CSMS.

    (link)
  5. How does a driver's violation history impact a carrier's Safety Measurement System (SMS) evaluation? Answer

    Carriers are evaluated only on inspections and crashes associated with their own U.S. DOT Number, so only violations that a driver receives while working for a motor carrier apply to that carrier's SMS evaluation. Therefore, the driver's violation history before the driver is hired and after the driver's employment is terminated will not impact a motor carrier's SMS results. However, even if a motor carrier terminates a driver, all of the driver's crashes and inspection results that he or she received while operating for that carrier still apply to the carrier's SMS evaluation for 24 months from the date of occurrence. Because the data is time-weighted, the effect of those occurrences on the motor carrier's percentile rank will diminish over the course of the 24 months.

    (link)
  6. Where can I find the Safety Measurement System (SMS) severity tables? Answer

    The severity points for all violations used in the SMS can be found in Appendix A of the SMS Methodology and in this MS Excel spreadsheet.

    The severity weights reflect the relative importance of each violation within each particular Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC). They cannot be compared meaningfully across the various BASICs. For example, a violation with a severity weight of 7 in the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC is not intended to be equivalent to a violation with a severity weight of 7 in the Driver Fitness BASIC. The violation severity weights are currently being reviewed based on feedback from stakeholders.

    (link)
  7. Can you explain how safety event groups work in the Safety Measurement System (SMS)? Answer

    One of the ways the SMS accounts for the differences between motor carriers and their operations is by placing carriers in safety event groups based on the number of safety events (e.g., inspections, crashes) in which the carriers have been involved. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s foremost concern is safety and it accomplishes this by addressing the carriers who pose the greatest crash risk, irrespective of their industry segment.

    Safety event groups enable the SMS to deal with the widely diverse motor carrier population, while ensuring that similarly situated carriers are treated with the same standards. Safety event groups do not compare carriers by the commodities they haul or their industry segment.

    The tables below outline the safety event groups for each of the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) and can be found in the SMS Methodology document.

    Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance, Driver Fitness, and Vehicle Maintenance BASICs

    Safety Event Group Category Number of Relevant Inspections*
    1 3-10 (HOS Compliance) 5-10 (Fitness, Vehicle)
    2 11-20
    3 21-100
    4 101-500
    5 501+

    Hazardous Materials Compliance BASIC

    Safety Event Group Category Number of Relevant Inspections*
    1 5-10
    2 11-15
    3 16-40
    4 41-100
    5 101+

    *A relevant inspection is one where the roadside inspector reviewed a particular area for evidence of violations (not all inspection types/levels look at all areas).

    Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASIC

    Safety Event Group Category Number of Inspections with Controlled Substances/Alcohol Violations
    1 1
    2 2
    3 3
    4 4+

    The Unsafe Driving and Crash Indicator BASICs divide the safety event groups further into two additional categories: combo and straight segments. The following is used under the SMS to determine the carrier's segment:

    • Combo – combination trucks/motor coach buses constituting 70 percent or more of the total Power Units (PUs).
    • Straight – straight trucks/other vehicles constituting more than 30 percent of the total PUs.

    Unsafe Driving BASIC

    Safety Event Group Category Combo Segment: Number of Inspections with Unsafe Driving Violations Straight Segment: Number of Inspections with Unsafe Driving Violations
    1 3-8 3-4
    2 9-21 5-8
    3 22-57 9-18
    4 58-149 19-49
    5 150+ 50+

    Crash Indicator BASIC

    Safety Event Group Category Combo Segment: Number of Crashes Straight Segment: Number of Crashes
    1 2-3 2
    2 4-6 3-4
    3 7-16 5-8
    4 17-45 9-26
    5 46+ 27+
    (link)
  8. Can you explain the research behind the Safety Measurement System (SMS) violation severity weightings? Answer

    First, applicable safety-based violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the Hazardous Materials Regulations were classified into the seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). Next, within each BASIC, similar violations were grouped together. For example, the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC has tire and brake groupings, among others. Within each BASIC, the violation groups were assigned severity weights that reflect the violation group's association with crash occurrence and crash consequences. The stronger the relationship between a violation group and crash risk, the higher its assigned weight.

    The violation severity weights have been converted into a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 represents the lowest crash risk and 10 represents the highest crash risk relative to the other violations in the BASIC. Since the weights reflect the relative importance of each violation within each particular BASIC, they cannot be compared meaningfully across the various BASICs. In other words, a rating of 5 in one BASIC is not equivalent to a rating of 5 in another BASIC, but it does represent the midpoint between a crash risk of 1 and 10 within the same BASIC. This data is summarized in Appendix A of the SMS Methodology and the SMS Methodology document in Excel format.

    These weights are based on a number of studies that quantify the associations between violations and crash risk, as well as statistical analysis and input from enforcement subject matter experts and feedback from the motor carrier industry. Subject matter experts from FMCSA's field staff, including enforcement personnel and CSA development team members, examined these severity weights during the Operational Model Test and submitted recommendations to the agency to better associate crash risk with the violations. These recommendations have been incorporated into the latest version of the SMS Methodology.

    (link)

Crash Data

  1. How does the Safety Measurement System (SMS) handle crashes when motor carriers are not at fault? Answer

    The structure of the new SMS is such that the motor carrier’s role in the crash (i.e. preventability) is not automatically determined or considered. In fact, recordable crash reports that States submit to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does not include the motor carrier’s role in the crash. Consequently, motor carriers are identified for possible intervention based on recordable crashes without consideration of the motor carrier’s role.

    Why does FMCSA take this approach? This approach is taken because data analysis has historically shown that motor carriers who are involved in crashes, regardless of the motor carrier’s role, are likely to be involved in more future crashes than carriers who are not. Put simply, past crashes are a good predictor of future crashes.

    (link)
  2. What is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) doing in the short-term about determining the motor carrier’s role in the crash (i.e. preventability)? Answer

    The Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category percentile ranking is excluded from public websites because FMCSA understands that some crashes are unpreventable on the part of the motor carrier.

    (link)
  3. What is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) doing in the long-term about crash weighting? Answer

    FMCSA is assessing the feasibility of evaluating crashes to determine the motor carrier’s role in the crash (i.e. preventability) before they are used by the Safety Measurement System in the Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category. This would allow FMCSA to better concentrate intervention efforts on motor carriers that have high preventable crash rates. More information on this research can be found here: http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/CrashWeightingResearchPlan_7-2012.pdf.

    (link)
  4. How do I know if a crash will be used in my Safety Measurement System (SMS) data? Answer

    All FMCSA-reportable crashes are included in the SMS. A crash is reported to FMCSA if it involves the following:

    • Any truck having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 lbs. or a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) over 10,000 lbs. used on public highways; OR
    • Any motor vehicle designed to transport more than eight people, including the driver; OR
    • Any vehicle displaying a hazardous materials placard (regardless of weight). NOTE: This criterion assumes that an officer at a crash site may not be familiar with the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (Specifically, 49 CFR Part 172). If an officer or associate is knowledgeable in those, any vehicle discovered to be transporting hazardous materials without a required placard should also be included.

    AND

    • That vehicle is involved in a crash while operating on a roadway customarily open to the public, which results in any of the following:
      • A fatality: any person(s) killed in or outside of any vehicle (truck, bus, car, etc.) involved in the crash or who dies within 30 days of the crash as a result of an injury sustained in the crash; OR
      • An injury: any person(s) injured as a result of the crash who immediately receives medical treatment away from the crash scene; OR
      • A tow away: any motor vehicle (truck, bus, car, etc.) disabled as a result of the crash and transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other vehicle.

    The SMS considers a crash applicable based on crash reports provided by the States for each crash that meets the reportable crash standard during the past 36 months for drivers and 24 months for carriers.

    (link)
  5. Is the Crash Indicator available for public view? Answer

    There is no current plan to make the Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category available for public viewing. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is currently examining crash data to see if weighting can be applied in a cost effective manner. Details about this research can be found here: http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/CrashWeightingResearchPlan_7-2012.pdf.

    (link)

SMS Online

  1. What information is displayed on the Motor Carrier Overview? Answer

    The major sections displayed in the Safety Measurement System (SMS) for the selected motor carrier include the following:

    • The BASICs Overview — Provides the on-road results, investigation results, and overall performance of each BASIC.
    • Summary of Activities — Provides a summary of roadside inspections and crashes for the 24-month timeframe that the SMS results are based upon.
    • Recent Investigations — Provides a listing of the five most recent investigations performed on the motor carrier.
    • Data Downloads — Allows download of the data on inspections, violations, and crashes that are used in the motor carrier's SMS results. Data can be pulled for a specific Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) or for all BASICs in either Microsoft Excel or XML format.
    • Carrier Registration Information — Provides the motor carrier's registration information that was current when the SMS results were determined.
    (link)
  2. What is included in the Summary of Activities? Answer

    The Summary of Activities presents the most recent investigation and the number of roadside inspections and crashes that have occurred during the 24-month timeframe that are used to calculate the Safety Measurement System (SMS) results for the motor carrier.

    The Total Inspections count consists of all roadside inspections (Levels I through VI). The inspection total is broken down into total inspections without violations used in the SMS and total inspections with violations used in the SMS.

    The Total Crashes count consists of all the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration-reportable crashes. Reportable crashes include crashes that resulted in an injury or fatality to a person involved in the crash and crashes that required at least one vehicle to be towed from the scene due to disabling damage where there were no injuries or fatalities.

    Selecting "Continue for more Crash, Inspection & Investigation Details" reveals more information about recent investigations, inspections, and crashes. The five most recent investigations and when they occurred are listed. Inspections are broken down by type (i.e., driver, vehicle, and placardable Hazardous Materials (HM)) and include out-of-service (OOS) percentile rates.

    The Driver Inspection count consists of all Level I, II, III, and VI inspections. The driver OOS rate is calculated as the number of driver inspections with at least one driver OOS violation divided by the total number of driver inspections.

    The Vehicle Inspection count consists of all Level I, II, V, and VI inspections. The vehicle OOS rate is calculated as the number of vehicle inspections with at least one vehicle OOS violation divided by the total number of vehicle inspections.

    The Placardable HM Inspection count consists of all vehicle inspections (Level I, II, V, and VI) where placardable quantities of HM are present. The HM OOS rate is calculated as the number of placardable HM vehicle inspections with at least one HM OOS violation divided by the total number of placardable HM vehicle inspections.

    Total Crashes is broken down into three categories: Fatal, Injury, and Towaway.

    (link)
  3. What is included in Recent Investigations? Answer

    Recent Investigations lists the five most recent investigations conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or its State Partners. The listing is not limited to the 24-month timeframe that is used to calculate the Safety Measurement System results for the motor carrier.

    (link)
  4. What is included in the Carrier Registration Information? Answer

    The Carrier Registration Information contains a summary of the registration information provided by the motor carrier to the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA). This information is current as of the Safety Measurement System (SMS) data snapshot date. If a motor carrier updates its registration information after the SMS data snapshot date, the changes will be reflected in the next monthly SMS results.

    The most up-to-date registration information for a motor carrier can be obtained from FMCSA's Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System Website.

    Motor carriers are required to update this data at least every two years. Failure to do so will result in the carrier's U.S. DOT Number being inactivated. A message is displayed if the registration data has not been updated within the two-year requirement period.

    Instructions for updating motor carrier registration information are displayed by selecting the "Update Registration Info" button.

    Selecting the "Carrier Registration Details" button will display additional details of the motor carrier's registration information, including contact information, operation classification, and type of cargo carried.

    (link)
  5. What is included in the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories' (BASICs) details of the Safety Measurement System (SMS)? Answer

    Each BASIC's details page, except where noted, consists of five parts:

    • BASIC Overall Status: A Exceeds Intervention Threshold symbol, based on the data, indicates that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may prioritize a motor carrier for further monitoring, and the reason (roadside and/or investigation results).
    • Data Center: Provides a means to download the roadside and investigation data that SMS uses. Users can download data in Excel (XLS) or XML format for the selected BASIC or for all BASICs.
    • On-road Performance Detail tab: Provides the SMS measure, assigned percentile, and supporting information for the selected BASIC. This includes a summary listing of violations and their violation weights, and a listing of the relevant inspections for the BASIC. The full inspection report can also be accessed from this section.
    • Investigation Results Detail tab: Identifies whether a Serious Violation was discovered during the previous 12 months from the SMS data snapshot date. If a Serious Violation was discovered, the violation and the date it was cited are listed.
    • Performance Tools tab: Presents a series of graphs that can assist a motor carrier in determining its performance under the selected BASIC. Two graphs are provided: one lists the relevant inspections versus the inspections with a violation in the selected BASIC by month for the 24-month period of the SMS results, and the second graph presents the SMS results for the entire safety event group in the selected BASIC. The graph presents the measure on the vertical axis and the percentile on the horizontal axis for the safety event group.
    (link)
  6. How is a carrier's Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) Overall Status determined? Answer

    Each BASIC's Overall Status is determined by the results of the motor carrier's on-road performance over the previous 24 months and the investigation results over the previous 12 months. Overall Status will display a Exceeds Intervention Threshold symbol if either the on-road performance's percentile is over the established threshold or the investigation results show the discovery of a Serious Violation. This indicates that the BASIC is Exceeds Intervention Threshold and the motor carrier may be prioritized for an intervention, which can include a warning letter, investigation, and identification for a roadside inspection.

    (link)
  7. What are the intervention thresholds for each BASIC? Answer

    The Intervention Thresholds for carriers are organized by BASIC and are set based on a given BASIC's relationship to crash risk. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s analysis has shown that the strongest relationship to crash risk is found with high percentiles in the Unsafe Driving, Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance and Crash Indicator BASICs. Therefore, these higher risk BASICs have a lower threshold for interventions than the other BASICs. Currently, the Intervention Thresholds are as follows:

    BASIC Intervention Thresholds
    Passenger HM General
    Unsafe Driving, HOS Compliance, Crash Indicator ≥50% ≥60% ≥65%
    Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Vehicle Maintenance ≥65% ≥75% ≥80%
    HM Compliance ≥80% ≥80% ≥80%
    (link)
  8. Why does the Safety Measurement System (SMS) use segmentation and how does it work? Answer

    The SMS uses segmentation within the Unsafe Driving and Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) to account for carrier differences by placing the carrier population into two groups based on the types of vehicles operated. Carriers are grouped by the following two vehicle types/operations:

    1. Combo Segment — Combination trucks/motor coach buses constituting 70 percent or more of the total Power Units (PUs) (vehicles).
    2. Straight Segment — Straight trucks/other vehicles constituting more than 30 percent of the total PUs (vehicles).

    The segmentation of motor carriers means that companies who have fundamentally different types of vehicles/operations are not compared to each other.

    For a detailed description and examples of the safety event groupings by and for each BASIC, please refer to the SMS Methodology document.

    (link)
  9. What is a Power Unit (PU) and how does the Safety Measurement System (SMS) use this information? Answer

    PUs are recorded in the motor carrier registration data (MCS-150) on file. PUs may include vehicle types such as trucks, tractors, hazardous material tank trucks, motor coaches, and school buses.

    The number of PUs a carrier has is used in part to account for each motor carrier's level of on-road exposure when calculating the Unsafe Driving and Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). SMS calculates the average number of PUs for each carrier by using (1) the carrier's current number of PUs, plus (2) the number of PUs the carrier had 6 months ago, plus (3) the number of PUs the carrier had 18 months ago divided by 3. The average PUs numbers along with annual Vehicle Miles Traveled information are used as a measure of exposure to estimate the number of PUs operated over a 24-month time period when traffic enforcement violations (used in the Unsafe Driving BASIC measure) or reportable crashes (used in the Crash Indicator) could have occurred. Due to the potentially significant changes in exposure of individual carriers over the course of 24 months (via downsizing, mergers, etc.), an average number of PUs provides a more accurate estimate of vehicle exposure for carriers that have updated their MCS-150 motor carrier registration information.

    Please refer to the SMS Methodology document for additional information and an example of the average PU calculation.

    (link)
  10. What are the Serious Violations? Answer

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) includes investigation findings (e.g., what FMCSA or State Partners find during a motor carrier investigation) when assessing Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) performance. The Investigation Results Details tab provided in the Safety Measurement System Website displays a “Serious Violation Found” icon when an investigation conducted within the previous 12 months resulted in the discovery of a Serious Violation within a BASIC. Serious Violations include those that are determined as follows:

    • Those violations where noncompliance is so severe that they require immediate corrective action by a motor carrier, regardless of its overall safety posture (e.g., failing to implement an alcohol and/or controlled substance testing program).
    • Or, those violations which relate directly to the carrier's management and/or operational controls and are indicative of breakdowns in a carrier's management controls (pattern of violations, e.g., false reports of records of duty status).

    The “Serious Violation Found” icon will be displayed in the carrier's Investigation Results for the BASIC for 12 months following the date of the investigation. Select this link to view the list of Serious Violations.

    (link)
  11. How do I read the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) Overview? Answer

    The BASICs Overview categorizes the results for each of the seven BASICs.

    The On-road column lists the motor carrier's percentile for each BASIC. If the percentile is over the established Intervention Threshold for the motor carrier, the percentile is presented with a Exceeds Intervention Threshold symbol.

    The Investigation column displays the “Serious Violation Found” icon for a BASIC if a Serious Violation was cited within 12 months of the Safety Measurement System (SMS) results date. The icon will be present regardless of whether corrective actions have occurred. Select this link to view the list of Serious Violations.

    The BASICs Status column displays a Exceeds Intervention Threshold symbol, if either the On-road column's percentile is over the established threshold or if the Investigation column displays the “Serious Violation Found” icon. This indicates that the BASIC is in a Exceeds Intervention Threshold status and that the motor carrier may be prioritized for an investigation and a roadside inspection

    Note that for general public users, the Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance and Crash Indicator BASICs display the message “Not Public.” Motor carriers that log in to the SMS can view the Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance and Crash Indicator BASICs, but only for their own U.S. DOT Number. Within the BASICs details pages, inspection and violation listings are available to all users, regardless of their logged-in status, but the measure, percentile, and other specifics of these two BASICs are available only to logged-in motor carriers.

    Also, the Crash Indicator BASIC displays “Not Applicable” under the Investigation column because there are no violations associated with the Crash Indicator BASIC on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's list of Serious Violations.

    BASIC Overview Panel

    Screenshot of the BASIC overview panel

    The details of each BASIC can be accessed by clicking on the BASIC's tab within the BASICs Overview. Note that a motor carrier's past performance can be accessed by selecting History.

    To learn more about how to interpret the on-road and investigation columns click on the “What Does This Mean?” button.

    (link)
  12. What is a percentile? Answer

    The Safety Measurement System (SMS) calculates a measure for each Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) as described in the SMS Methodology document. The measure is then used to assign a ranking, or percentile, for each motor carrier that has information that could be compared against other similar carriers. This percentile ranking allows the safety behavior of a carrier to be compared with the safety behavior of carriers with similar operations and numbers of safety events.

    The percentile is computed on a 0-100 scale, with 100 indicating the worst performance and 0 indicating the best performance. The carrier in the group with the highest measure will be at the 100th percentile, while the carrier with the lowest measure in the group will be at the 0 percentile. All other carriers in the group will be between these two numbers based on their compliance records.

    (link)
  13. What does it mean when a motor carrier does not have a percentile assigned within a Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC)? Answer

    Not having a percentile associated with a BASIC under the On-road Performance column may be a result of one of several situations. No Violations/No Crashes — The motor carrier has no violations or crashes within that BASIC. The following table outlines the different values displayed within the On-road Performance column for each BASIC:

    On-road Performance Column Information:
    BASIC Values Displayed
    Unsafe Driving
    • No power unit data — No registered power unit data recorded in census information
    • 0% — No inspections with a violation in this BASIC cited
    • < 3 inspections with violations — Less than 3 inspections with a violation in the BASIC
    • No violations within 1 year — No Violations cited in the past 12 months
    • Display Percentile
    Controlled Substances and Alcohol
    • 0% — No inspections with a violation in this BASIC cited
    • No violations within 1 year — No Violations cited in the past 12 months
    • Display Percentile
    Crash Indicator
    • No power unit data — No registered power unit data recorded in census information
    • 0% — No inspections with a violation in this BASIC cited
    • < 2 crashes — One crash
    • No crashes within 1 year — No crashes cited in the past 12 months
    • Display Percentile
    Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance
    • < 3 driver inspections — Not enough driver inspections to be assessed (0 to 2 inspections)
    • 0% — Enough driver inspections (3+ inspections) but no violations in this BASIC cited
    • < 3 inspections with violations — Enough inspections (+3 driver inspections) but not enough inspections with BASIC-related violations (1 to 2 inspections with violations)
    • No violations within 1 year — Enough inspections, but no violation cited within the past 12 months and the latest driver inspection did not include violation in the BASIC
    • Display Percentile
    Driver Fitness
    • < 5 driver inspections — Not enough driver inspections to be assessed (0 to 4 inspections)
    • 0% — Enough driver inspections (5+ inspections) but no violations in this BASIC cited
    • < 5 inspections with violations — Enough inspections (+5 driver inspections) but not enough inspections with BASIC-related violations (1 to 4 inspections with violations)
    • No violations within 1 year — Enough inspections, but no violation cited within the past 12 months and the latest driver inspection did not include violation in the BASIC
    • Display Percentile
    Vehicle Maintenance
    • < 5 vehicle inspections — Not enough vehicle inspections to be assessed (0 to 4 inspections)
    • 0% — Enough vehicle inspections (5+ inspections) but no violations cited in the BASIC
    • < 5 inspections with violations — Enough inspections (+5 vehicle inspections) but not enough inspections with BASIC-related violations (1 to 4 inspections with violations)
    • No violations within 1 year — Enough inspections, but no violation cited within the past 12 months and the latest vehicle inspection did not include violation in the BASIC
    • Display Percentile
    Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance
    • < 5 HM placardable vehicle inspections — Not enough HM placardable vehicle inspections to be assessed (1 to 4 inspections)
    • No HM placardable vehicle inspections — Carrier does not have any relevant HM placardable vehicle inspections.
    • 0% — Enough HM placardable vehicle inspections (5+ inspections) but no HM placardable vehicle violations cited in the BASIC
    • < 5 HM placardable vehicle inspections with violations — Enough HM placardable vehicle inspections (+5 vehicle inspections) but not enough inspections with BASIC-related violations (1 to 4 inspections with violations)
    • No violations within 1 year — Enough HM placardable inspections, but no violation cited within the past 12 months and the latest vehicle inspection did not include violation in the BASIC
    • Display Percentile
    (link)
  14. When will the Safety Measurement System (SMS) stop identifying a motor carrier for intervention? Answer

    Carrier safety performance in the SMS is based upon the previous 24 months of on-road performance, inspection and crash data, and Serious Violations found during investigations over the last 12 months. Either on-road performance or investigation results can result in a carrier being identified for intervention.

    The SMS will stop identifying motor carriers for intervention when their Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) percentile ranks are no longer above the Intervention Thresholds. There are three ways that this can happen:

    1. Inspections without violations at roadside demonstrate improved performance;
    2. Poor inspections will count less over time and eventually fall outside of the 24-month timeframe; and/or
    3. If the carrier goes a full year without a violation and its last inspection in a BASIC did not result in any violations. In the Unsafe Driving and Crash Indicator BASICs, a carrier simply needs to go a year without an incident in these two BASICs.

    The SMS will stop flagging motor carriers based on Serious Violations one year after the Serious Violation was issued. Keep in mind that the SMS updates monthly, so this change will be reflected on the next SMS update after the one year timeframe has passed.

    Understanding the regulations and ensuring vehicles and drivers are safe today will help keep carriers off of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s radar tomorrow.

    (link)
  15. How long do I have to get into compliance? Answer

    There is no grace period for achieving compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. However, carriers should know that their safety performance in the Safety Measurement System is based upon the previous 24 months of on-road performance and crash data. Understanding the regulations and ensuring vehicles and drivers are safe today will help keep carriers off of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's expanding radar tomorrow.

    (link)
  16. How do I improve my percentile ranks in the Safety Measurement System (SMS) Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs)? Answer

    Receiving new inspections that are free of violations will improve a carrier's percentile rank for the Hours-of-Service Compliance, Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Vehicle Maintenance, and Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance BASICs. Carriers should also review the “What can a motor carrier do to improve?” section of the SMS Information Center. This section provides tips that may help carriers who want to improve their safety performance. There are numerous tips that will help carriers improve their SMS percentile ranks and help drivers avoid crashes and violations. Additional information can be found at How to Improve Your Percentile Ranks.

    (link)
  17. Will motor carriers and drivers with minor problems be subject to interventions? Answer

    In the majority of situations, if a motor carrier is experiencing a minor problem that does not result in a Exceeds Intervention Threshold symbol in a Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC), the motor carrier will not receive an intervention. The Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) interventions are designed to assist motor carriers and drivers in improving their safety performance. Under CSA, motor carriers will receive an intervention when their roadside inspection and crash data point to poor performance in a key BASIC.

    (link)
  18. How can users access Safety Measurement System (SMS) data? Answer

    Users can view motor carriers' SMS data here. Part of the website is open to the public and requires no password. The open part of the website includes each motor carrier's Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) percentile ranks for five of the seven BASICs: Unsafe Driving, Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance BASIC, Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Driver Fitness, and Vehicle Maintenance. The website also includes lists of crashes, roadside inspections, and violations resulting from roadside inspections.

    When motor carriers sign in, they will be able to see additional data:

    • Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance BASIC percentile rank
    • Crash Indicator BASIC percentile rank
    • Driver names and other privacy-related material from individual inspection results

    Motor carriers can sign in via the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Portal or directly through the SMS Website. From this SMS page, a carrier representative can log in with its U.S. DOT Number and PIN in order to access the carrier's non-public data. The carrier sign-in is at the bottom center of the screen. Once signed in, you will be guided back to the SMS homepage. After that, in the search box in the middle right section of the screen, you should type in the U.S. DOT # or MC # and hit search.

    Motor carriers can request an FMCSA Portal account by clicking here and following the instructions to request an account. For additional assistance with an FMCSA Portal account, contact the Help Desk at 800-832-5660. To sign in via the SMS Website, you will need your U.S. DOT Number and PIN. Note that a Docket Number PIN will not enable you to see your SMS data. If you cannot locate your PIN or were never assigned one, complete the PIN registration process. A notification letter with your PIN will be generated and mailed to the address that was submitted on your most recent MCS-150 form. You should receive this letter within two weeks. If you need any assistance with PIN issues, call the FMCSA Help Desk at 800-832-5660 during normal business hours.

    (link)
  19. When does the Safety Measurement System (SMS) update? Answer

    The data in the SMS updates once a month. A snapshot of the data is taken on the third or last Friday of each month and then it takes approximately 10 days to process and validate the data before it is updated on the website. It states in the upper right-hand corner in the search box of the SMS homepage the date upon which the current data is based.

    However, the MCS-150 data updates happen much faster in SAFER and roadside inspections are updated faster in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Portal. If the MCS-150 data is up-to-date in SAFER, then it will likely be updated in SMS the next month. Here is the schedule of when SMS updates.

    (link)
  20. How often are the Safety Measurement System (SMS) results updated and what timeframe does each update include? Answer

    SMS results are updated monthly. A snapshot of the data is taken on the third or last Friday of each month and then it takes approximately 10 days to process and validate the data. Once validated, the results are uploaded to the SMS Website. The table below lists a tentative schedule for future releases of SMS results:

    Release Month Data Snapshot Date Approximate Release Date
    October 2014 Friday, 09/26/2014 Week of 10/06/2014
    November 2014 Friday, 10/24/2014 Week of 11/03/2014
    December 2014 Friday, 11/21/2014 Week of 12/08/2014
    January 2015 Friday, 12/19/2014 Week of 01/05/2015
    (link)
  21. Will the Safety Measurement System (SMS) Website add a web services feature? Answer

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may add web services in 2012, but they do not exist now.

    (link)
  22. How does one view inspections without violations in the Safety Measurement System (SMS)? Answer

    These inspections can be viewed in the Inspection History section for these BASICs on the SMS Website. Inspection History uses three views: the total number of inspections for each carrier, as well as a breakdown of the number of inspections with and without violations.

    (link)
  23. How can I make a suggestion to improve the new Safety Measurement System (SMS) Website? Answer

    The SMS Website will be adding new functionality over time. Stakeholders can submit suggestions on how they would like to see the SMS Website improved by submitting their feedback here.

    (link)