Truck Insurance And A License: No Longer Enough Regulation For Small Motor Carriers?

Having a good-standing license and appropriate commercial truck insurance used to be enough for shippers to contract motor carriers, but new information made public by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, (FMCSA), is causing many small trucking companies to worry that an already-stifled economy could get even worse.

Despite a pending lawsuit and legal request to stay the publicity of the FMCSAs new CSA 2010 program, information regarding company accident history, driver fitness, equipment upkeep and several other safety-related categories is now available to shippers and other freight companies alike by simply logging into the FMCSA website and viewing a comprehensive score.

What is CSA 2010?

CSA 2010, which stands for compliance, safety and accountability, is a system proposed by the FMCSA in December of 2010 to publish a safety score for motor carriers and independent truckers to prospective employers, as well as their competition.

According to the FMCSA, an agency formed in January of 2000 that regulates the national trucking industry, the goal of CSA 2010 is to increase safety standards and reduce accidents that occur during commercial transit.

Arguments against CSA 2010

Several trucking associations that represent over 2,700 small trucking companies are suing the FMCSA, challenging that current CSA 2010 standards produce overall safety scores that are not accurate. Theyre worried the scores will cost motor carriers jobs unfairly by increasing false conclusions based on speculation.

Trucking company spokesmen have gone on record expressing concerns for the methods by which safety scores are calculated, stating that accidents caused by other drivers will sky-rocket the scores of smaller companies, costing them jobs because motor carriers will be making false assumptions from the CSA 2010 data.

The scoring system is set on a scale of 1-100, 100 being the worst, thats derived from several categories including several possibly subjective categories such as Unsafe driving, fatigued driving, driver fitness, controlled substance abuse, vehicle maintenance, cargo-related accidents and an overall crash indicator.

Effect on Independent Truckers

The Owner Operator Independent Driver Association, (OOIDA), has expressed concerns about the system on record as well, claiming the standards for arriving at scores is weighted against independent drivers by counting 3 years of violations and infractions as opposed to the 2 required for motor carriers.

Furthermore, the organization expresses concerns about counting all infractions including warning tickets as opposed to just convictions.

Some speculate the commercial truck insurance industry might unfairly spike rates based on the public information as well.

Official Stance and Current State of CSA 2010

According to the FMCSA official website, the initiative is meant to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicles. They further contend CSA 2010 establishes a new nationwide system for making the roads safer for motor carriers and the public alike!!

As of January 4th, 2010, the temporary stay requested by the lawsuit against the FMCSA was not granted and CSA 2010 information is currently public while the lawsuit awaits trial.

Patrick Winchester is a freelance writer with commercial truck insurance expertise. Need to save on truck insurance while keeping legit coverage? Visit

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