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Research Project
A Smarter Way to Measure Motor Carrier Safety

Federal and state motor carrier safety is getting smarter thanks, in part, to an updated commercial vehicle and driver selection algorithm developed by UGPTI's Transportation Safety System Center (TSSC), in partnership with the CSA BASICs to Roadside team.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has updated its business processes for enforcement and compliance activities. This new comprehensive safety program, called Compliance, Safety, Accountability or CSA covers a full spectrum of safety issues from how data are collected, evaluated and shared to how enforcement officials can intervene most effectively and efficiently to improve safety on our roads. A key part of that updated program is the commercial vehicle and driver selection algorithm updated by the UGPTI's Transportation Safety Systems Center.

The algorithm, called the Inspection Selection System for CSA (ISS CSA), uses the new data measures developed for the CSA program. The ISS is the primary tool used by FMCSA and state commercial vehicle enforcement personnel to screen commercial motor vehicles and drivers for inspection. "This algorithm, in alignment with CSA, will have a much greater focus on the behaviors of a company," TSSC Director Brenda Lantz says.

In the past, the algorithm and FMCSA actions focused primarily on four broad categories to identify problem carriers. CSA and the updated ISS are based on seven Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Categories. The new algorithm takes into account violations under the following categories:

  • Unsafe driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Driver fitness
  • Controlled substance and alcohol
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Cargo Related
  • Crashes

Previously, FMCSA was only reaching a limited number of carriers via full compliance reviews, but CSA, supported by the updated ISS, will allow for early and additional intervention methods, such as warning letters, on-site focused reviews, or off-site reviews.

Lantz notes the staff with TSSC are evaluating the updated ISS to ensure that it has retained its strengths and that the program functions as expected to support the FMCSA's new comprehensive safety program.

For more information about this project, please email Brenda Lantz brenda.lantz@ndsu.edu.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050