• Richa Shetty

What Exactly is CSA Score (FMCSA DOT BASICs)

CSA stands for Compliance, Safety, Accountability. It is the safety compliance and enforcement program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that holds motor carriers and drivers accountable for their role in safety. CSA affects motor carriers, including owners, operators, by identifying those with safety problems to prioritize them for interventions such as warning letters and investigations. CSA affects drivers because their safety performance and compliance impact their safety records and, while working for a carrier, will impact their carrier’s safety record. Also Read: What is FMCSA? USA DOT

Also Understand: What is a Good CSA Score? How to Improve my CSA Score (FMCSA)

What Exactly is CSA Score (FMCSA DOT BASICs)

How Does it Work:

Your company’s safety data appears online in FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS). FMCSA updates the SMS once a month with data from roadside inspections, including driver and vehicle violations; crash reports from the last two years; and investigation results.

Here is the Check List for Fleet Maintenance & Effective Maintenance Over Time


What Else the SMS Considers:


The SMS considers:

• The number of safety violations and inspections

• The severity of safety violations or crashes

• When the safety violations occurred, with recent events weighted more heavily

• The number of trucks/buses a carrier operates and the number of vehicle miles traveled

• Acute and Critical Violations found during investigations FMCSA organize the SMS data into 7 Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs):

Explore further: California Driving Laws (Drivers Must Read Quick-Book)


What are the 7 CSA BASICs Categories?

There are 7 different CSA BASIC categories:

  1. Unsafe Driving

  2. Driver Fitness

  3. Hours-of-service Compliance

  4. Fleet/Vehicle Maintenance

  5. Controlled Substances

  6. Crash Indicator

  7. Hazardous Materials Compliance


1. Unsafe Driving

The Unsafe Driving BASIC consists of the following driver violations: speeding, texting, using a hand-held cell phone, reckless driving, improper lane changes, and inattention. Violations are used in the SMS whether the state officer issues a citation or just a verbal warning. Read more about What Violations Leads you to pay E-challan? And How to Avoid It?


2. Driver Fitness

The Driver Fitness BASIC covers driving records, including driver qualification files, commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs), medical certificates, state driving records, annual driving record reviews, and compliant employment applications. Here are Top 8 Ways to Improve Driver Behavior with a Modern Fleet Management System


3. Hours-of-service Compliance

The Hours-of-service Compliance BASIC covers compliance with the FMCSA’s Hours of Service regulations, including falsification of RODS and driving more hours than allowed. Also, read European Battery Makers Power up for Great Green Recovery


4. Fleet/Vehicle Maintenance

The Vehicle Maintenance BASIC covers pre-and post-trip vehicle inspections, vehicle defects, and whether a vehicle was promptly repaired. Maintenance problems such as worn tires, broken vehicle brakes or lights, and improper cargo securement, among other issues are considered. Read further about How Accurate is GPS Speed in a Vehicle Tracking System?


5. Controlled Substances

The Controlled Substances BASIC covers the operation of commercial motor vehicles by drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Examples of violations include failing an alcohol test or having alcoholic beverages in the cab. Read more about the Top 7 Essential Road Safety Rules for Drivers


6. Crash Indicator

The Crash Indicator BASIC looks at the history of previous state-reported crashes. A crash is considered reportable if they involve a fatality or injury, or require a vehicle to be transported from the crash scene. A driver’s role in the crash is not currently a factor in whether a crash is reportable. Read More about America's 7 Most Haunted Roads


7. Hazardous Materials Compliance

The Hazardous Materials Compliance BASIC looks at compliance with how Hazmat carriers must properly package, mark, label, placard, and load. It also covers regulations for tank specification testing, loading/unloading, attendance, and leakage. Learn more about 5 basic fleet management problems and challenges.


Others/Insurance

While not technically a BASIC, the FMCSA also uses the Insurance/Other categories to prioritize carriers for intervention. Examples of violations are operating a commercial motor vehicle without the required minimum amount of coverage or failing to maintain proper documentation of crash reports. Read also about Which are the Best Car Insurance Companies in Canada



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