A Summary of the CSA 2010...and How Specific Commercial Traffic Violations Impact Your Score under the Safety Measurement System (SMS):
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that over 5 million commercial vehicles (trucks and buses) operate on our highways each year.
The CSA 2010 is the Comprehensive Safety Analysis - it is the FMCSA's safety compliance and enforcement program. It's primary objective is to improve safety and prevent commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
Under the Safety Measurement System or SMS, there are an abundance of violations in a CMV that would result in a carrier and/or driver being assigned "Severity Points." The violation severity weights are assigned on a 1 to 10 scale, where 1 represents the lowest crash risk, and 10 represents the highest crash risk.
The April 2018 SMS Methodolgy (a downloadable pdf document), explains how motor carriers’ safety performance and compliance status in the SMS causes them to be targeted for intervention. Appendix A of this document outlines all of the SMS violations under Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) that would be counted against a driver and/or carrier.
Here are some examples of SMS violations which carry Severity Points...
1. Speeding in a CMV 15 MPH or More Over the Speed Limit (Violation of State or Local Laws) - Severity Weight of "10" - CFR 392.2-SLLS4;
2. Driver’s Record of Duty Status Not Current - Log Book Violation - Severity Weight of "5" - CFR 395.8(f)(1);
3. Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device in a CMV (i.e Weigh Station Sign; Emergency Parking Only Sign) - Severity Weight of "5" - CFR 392.2C;
4. Failing to Use a Seat Belt While Operating a CMV - Severity Weight of "7" - CFR 392.16;
5. Using a Hand-held Mobile Telephone while operating a CMV - Severity Weight of "10" - CFR 392.82(a)(1);
6. Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle while Texting - Severity Weight of "10" - CFR 392.80(a);
7. Failing to Comply with Hazardous Materials Regulations - Markings - Severity Weight of "5" - CFR 171.2(c);
8. Lane Restriction Violation in a CMV - Out of Designated Lane - Severity Weight of "3" - CFR 392.2LV.
It is important to contest any such commercial traffic violation, as these and other listed violations are used by the SMS at the specified severity weight - unless the citation result associated with the violation is adjudicated by a court and documented as “dismissed" or "not guilty.” Additionally, getting a violation amended or reduced to another vehicle code section - and documented as “convicted of a different charge,” would limit the severity weight to only "1."
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