We had an eventful week at Omnitracs Outlook 2015 and want to share some highlights from Tuesday’s keynote session. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from FMCSA’s Joseph DeLorenzo, who gave an informative session that cleared up some questions about electronic logging devices, CSA scores, safety, and more – including where to find more information.
Electronic Recording of Drivers’ HOS
Joseph discussed the electronic logging device (ELD) rule, planned for publication in 2015. We talk about ELDs quite a bit, and Joseph emphasized that automatic on-board recorders, ELDs, and electronic logs are all different. Until the rule is finalized, we do not know what an official electronic logging device looks like, and therefore should not refer to the logging of drivers’ HOS (hours of service) as ELDs. For example, apps that are downloaded from Google are not really ELDs and we should stop calling them that. Read more about the differences from XRS.
Something that Joseph emphasized was to stop and think about why the ELD mandate is happening. The bottom line is that the purpose of the upcoming rule is to improve safety. After safety, uniformity is an important reason for the rule. With so many existing devices out there, it’s going to be important to have requirements that enable everyone in the industry to work off the same sort of device.
Joseph spoke about FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program and listed the core components:
- The Safety Measurement System (SMS) – FMCSA’s workload prioritization tool that identifies carriers with safety and compliance problems for interventions. Organizes safety behavior into 7 categories: Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs).
- Safety Interventions Process – Interventions and tools to help FMCSA work with carriers to bring them into compliance.
- Proposed Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) Rule – A rule will publish on the safety fitness determination as it goes to CSA. The safety rating will allow for assessments to be made more regularly.
Speed is the number one reason for unsafe driving, according to DeLorenzo. This seems logical but Joseph used the example of teenage driving to illustrate a point. He said that when he thinks about how he drove when he was a teenager, he wasn’t in any crashes, but had the behavior of someone who would cause a crash. If you know the behavior of people who cause crashes, you can prevent crashes.
BASIC scores are meant to identify poor safety performers so you can correct them. When BASICs have alerts, they may trigger an intervention. DeLorenzo advised to monitor your BASICs and take immediate action if your measures or percentiles are increasing.
DeLorenzo then described the FMCSA’s newly released crash weighting analysis. The crash weighting analysis studied whether Police Accident Reports (PARs) provide the right amount of information to support crash weighting determinations, whether a different process would better predict carrier crashes, and how FMCSA could manage a crash weighting process. DeLorenzo stated that when examining the PARs against the FARs (Fatal Accident Reports), there are data quality issues. The FMCSA seeks public comment and DeLorenzo provided resources on how to get involved. He also pointed the audience to a tool to help with driver scorecards: PSP (Pre-employment screening program) helps carriers make better hiring decisions with access to drivers’ crash and inspection history.
DeLorenzo also went over details and timelines related to the 34-hour restart rule and DVIR rule.
Some of the best takeaways from Tuesday’s keynote were that resources are available that can help. DeLorenzo also shared some tips on what to do and what not to do with DataQs, stating that you should take time to file a good one (get papers in order and gather the evidence that you need).
To stay on top of the latest from FMCSA, visit csa.fmcsa.dot.gov. You can learn more about CSA, check company safety records, order driver records, request data reviews, and find information on ways to improve safety performance.
We felt that Joseph DeLorenzo’s presentation was highly valuable in understanding not only what is happening, but why it’s important. This is the kind of information you can expect to hear at future Omnitracs Outlook meetings.