What is Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)?
Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) is FMCSA’s (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) data-driven safety compliance and enforcement program designed to improve safety and prevent commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
CSA affects carriers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, these are the carriers transporting passengers or cargo in interstate commerce, and Hazardous Materials carriers operating in intrastate commerce. CSA may also impact the carriers whose State requires that they obtain a USDOT (United States Department of Transportation) Number.
CSA consists of three core components:
- The Safety Measurement System (SMS)
- CSA Interventions
- Safety Fitness Determination (SFD)
1. The Safety Measurement System (SMS)
The SMS uses data from roadside inspections and crash reports from the last two years, and data from investigations to identify and intervene with the motor carriers that pose the greatest risk to safety.
FMCSA updates the SMS once a month and organizes the data into seven ‘Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories’ (BASICs). The SMS sorts carriers by BASIC with other carriers that have a similar number of safety events and then ranks carriers and assigns a percentile to prioritize them for interventions.
2. CSA Interventions
CSA has a wide array of intervention tools to help motor carriers comply with safety regulations. There are three categories of intervention: Early Contact, Investigation, and Follow-On.
The CSA interventions process evaluates why safety problems occur, recommends remedies, encourages corrective action, and when necessary, invokes strong penalties for those carriers failing to comply.
3. Safety Fitness Determination (SFD)
FMCSA assesses the safety fitness of motor carriers using a SFD rating system. The current SFD process is outlined in 49 CFR Part 385 regulation.
‘CSA’ and ‘Fleet Dash Cameras’ go hand-in-hand as the cameras provide real time data on drivers, their behaviour, basically data that can be used to improve CSA. Dash cams also provide evidence of accidents if you ever need to prove your innocence to authorities or deal with insurance providers.
What is a Dash Cam?
‘Dash cams’ are also known as ‘dashboard cameras’, ‘fleet dash cams’ and ‘car dash cams’. These are video cameras attached to the interior of the vehicle, often on the dashboard or on the rearview mirror.
There are front and rear dash cams, as well as side mount, interior, and exterior cameras. Dash cameras can be battery operated or powered by the vehicle’s electrical system.
Benefits of Fleet Dashboard Cameras
Dash cams can save your company money, increase safety and the performance of your fleet, and video footage can help get drivers with exoneration, safety training and even cut costs on insurance.
A professional-grade dash cam system can benefit your fleet by:
- Being an objective witness.
- Tell you when it’s time to ‘train’ or ‘coach’ your driver.
- Integrate with the ELD system.
Dash camera benefits can save your company a lot of money, increase safety and the performance of your fleet. Installing a fleet video monitoring system integrated with your fleet’s ELD solution gives you the ability to remotely access stored video.
Seeing what your drivers see will improve driver incident rates and skill levels.
What to Look For in a Dash Cam?
Commercial vehicles are exposed to more extremes than non-commercial automobiles. Fleets require dash cams that can record continuously for hours on end, handle jolts and bumps and continue functioning during temperature fluctuations.
Many pro-grade dash cams include GPS data embedded in the video footage, record HD video and may include Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technology that can help you capture quality videos and high-level detail, such as license plate numbers, in both bright and dark lighting.
Here are some top features to look for when you consider professional grade dash cams for your fleet.
Dual-facing Dash Cam
Dual-facing dash cams record the road and the interior of the cab. A smart dashcam can streamline coaching to help protect drivers, and will intelligently provide drivers with safety alerts.
Integration with your Fleet Management Software
Integrating your dash cam with Fleet Management Software allows your fleet manager to pull asset reports and view where equipment is at all times.
Critical Event Detection
When a dash cam with a built-in accelerometer (aka G-sensor), detects unusually strong jolts, hard braking, acceleration or impact from a collision, it will switch to ‘event mode’ and record footage for later retrieval. Depending on the brand of the dash camera, recording typically begins 10 seconds before an incident.
Cost-Saving Aspect of Dash Cameras?
Consider the cost savings from avoiding one fraudulent claim or the lost revenue from even one collision. Having this technology in place before you need it can save you a lot more than the cost of the cameras.
Increase Fleet Safety with Dash Cams
Hopefully, you’ll never have to know how much a serious accident can cost you. Without a doubt, the benefits of having a dash cam system far outweigh the risks of going without one.
Your dash cam can help you keep your drivers safe, provide training and coaching opportunities on an ongoing basis, and be an objective witness to what really happens when your vehicle is on the road.
Looking to Invest?
Are you looking to invest in a fleet dash cam technology? As mentioned above, the return on your investment in dash cam technology is well worth every penny.
In a more serious accident, when the driver is exonerated by dash cam footage, the real savings can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. Also, fleets and drivers will enjoy using the latest cutting edge GPS, telematics, and fleet management technology.
Stay safe and keep trucking.