In Regulatory Compliance and You, we gave an overview of the US Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) system and how it relates to automated vehicle tracking in the trucking industry. We return time and again to the issue of the CSA, because it is one of the most pressing issues in the US today. As we wrote in Asleep at the Wheel, one of the key measures of CSA is preventing fatigued drivers from being at the wheel. CSA helps to ensure that drivers are within their Hours of Service requirements, so that drivers are not driving tired.
Last year, we wrote in 2011 Trucking Critical Issues that the American Transport Research Institute annual report listed hours of service as the second most important issue in the survey:
“The HOS rules are again in play as the industry awaits a final rule from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) following proposed changes issued in December of last year.”
At the end of July this year, Mike Antich writing for Business Fleet posted FMCSA Seeks 445% Budget Hike to Increase CSA Enforcement, noting:
“For fiscal year 2012, FMCSA requested significantly more budgetary and staffing resources to fully implement CSA. Specifically, FMCSA is now requesting $78 million (a 445% increase) and 98 new full-time positions (a 14% increase) to its existing 696 full-time field staff for fiscal year 2012 to fully implement and integrate CSA into FMCSA’s operations. FMCSA’s fiscal year 2012 budget request also includes $261.8 million for a new CSA grant program to fund activities states and local law enforcement currently perform, such as roadside inspections, interventions, compliance reviews, and targeted enforcement and inspections.”
Clearly, the FMCSA believes that CSA enforcement will make a difference. More importantly, fleet operators must start assuming that, if they are not CSA compliant, they will be caught. This is good news for the industry.
Increasing enforcement levels the playing field for everyone. The anecdotal evidence from our customers is overwhelming: Because automated telematics and EOBR (electronic on board recorder) solutions keep drivers safe, their managers sleep at night. And by automating the tracking of your vehicles and drivers, you gain enormous opportunities to lower your costs and improve your ability to delivery outstanding service to your customers.
We believe CSA is making a difference and ongoing funding, inspections, and implementation of automated solutions will let CSA make a difference for all of us.