Wyoming Ready to Launch New Truck, Bus Monitoring System

By: Bubbajunk.com

November 22, 2010 -- According to John Mulcare, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) division administrator in Wyoming, the Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA), which will monitor trucking companies, is set to take effect in December in the state.

Mulcare said, "CSA 10 is one of the most major program changes that the industry has seen in decades." He also said, "Basically, it's a performance-based system where the data that is generated by the drivers in their vehicles is going to affect their scores with the Department of Transportation (DOT), as far as how we're going to monitor them."

He admitted that at present, the DOT is finding it hard to monitor drivers and targeting them for compliance or remedial action.

Mulcare explained that they are going to be keeping an eye on them through their driver's license number, and they were able to run reports and discover what type of background the drivers had as far as roadside inspections to see how obedient they are for the regulations.

Much as the program is made to bolster huge truck and bus safety to effectively decrease crashes, some truck company owners are worried that CSA could take them out of business.

"My only concern with CSA is if it's going to limit the company where we're going to be shut down even though we try really hard, and we do as much as we can to be compliant," according to Ray Gonzales of Powell and the Rocky Mountain Division safety manager for J& R Well Service and R&S Well Service.

Keeping in mind that the ratings of the company have been good in the past, Gonzales disclosed there were three current roadside inspections that uncovered some minor flaws. Tie-down brakes and over-length are the violations as he recalls them.

He is worried that those violations seem to really reflect on their record in nearly a harmful way since it just about pushes them into the unsatisfactory level. Although, without delay, they necessary action to fix them – the violations were on their record already and they're going to stay on their record for two years.

Gonzalez said, "We're up on the logs; we're up on everything, but if we do trip, I wonder if we're going to be devastated by it."

For the moment, Mulcare said that with bolstered monitoring, carriers are encouraged to keep track of their scores to see where they stand in the rankings.

"We monitor carriers right now through the SafeStat (Safety Status) system. It's just a shift from one type to another type system," Mulcare said. "But it is going to require additional monitoring on our part because the scores are going to be changing ... on a monthly basis" instead of the present bi-monthly system.

To recognize high-risk motor carriers, the Safety Measurement System (SMS) will take over from SafeStat as FMCSA's tool. Each carrier's safety performance will also be assessed by the SMS in the following categories: Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs): fatigued driving (hours of service), unsafe driving, driver fitness, controlled substances/alcohol, vehicle maintenance, cargo-related, and crash indicator.

For a couple infringements, penalties now range from $1,000, with some companies are obligated with up to $50,000 for the more crucial violations, like drivers misstating their logs to hide hours of service or could be moving hazardous materials, said Mulcare.

As the result of the increased safety monitoring, Wyoming's four motor carrier administration staff members will gain an additional staff, safety investigator, which will be hired soon. And within the next few years they will add a data analyst as well.