So what if drivers don't understand CSA? If drivers think that the CSA rules are more draconian than before, isn't that a good thing? No. Misconceptions and false information lead to drivers doing crazy things we could NEVER predict. More importantly, CSA puts drivers and carriers on the same team: infractions follow both the driver and the carrier. And since CSA infractions stay with a carrier after a driver has moved on, it's more incentive than ever to keep that driver and FIX the problem with good training about CSA (which, by the way, we have).
According to ATRI, here's some of the most common misconceptions from drivers about CSA.
87% falsely believed that traffic tickets/convictions are part of FMCSA's SMS calculations. The data kept by a state (i.e. tickets, citations, written warnings, convictions) and the data that are kept in the SMS (i.e. violations from RI and crash reports) are separate.
78% of drivers incorrectly believed that a trucking company inherits past violations from new hires. Carriers do not inherit any of a newly hired driver's past violations; only those inspections that a driver receives while driving under a carrier's authority can be applied to a carrier's SMS record.
72% falsely believed that FMCSA can revoke a commercial driver's license (CDL) as a result of CSA. CSA does not give FMCSA the authority to remove drivers from their jobs and cannot be used to rate drivers or to revoke a CDL; only State agencies responsible for issuing licenses, CDL or otherwise, have the authority to suspend them.
68.6% of drivers falsely believed that CSA takes into account a driver's personal vehicle driving record. Tickets or warnings that CMV drivers receive while operating their personal vehicles do not count in the SMS.
58.5% of drivers falsely believed that the federal motor carrier safety regulations have changed as a result of CSA. CSA has not changed any of FMCSA's regulations, although FMCSA is advocating for a future rule change to alter the carrier safety rating process for determining whether or not a carrier is unfit.
99% could not correctly identify which 5 carrier BASIC scores are publicly available.
98% did not know that FMCSA enforcement staff are the only group of people who can access official driver scores.