Commercial Motor Vehicles

Commercial Motor Vehicles



NWRA advocates fixing the CSA’s “crash causation” rating system, increasing congressional oversight of the CSA’s Safety Fitness Determination, and new vehicle/fuel efficiency grants. 


Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) data-driven safety compliance and enforcement program designed to improve safety and prevent commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes, injuries, and fatalities. CSA consists of three core components; the Safety Measurement System (SMS); interventions; and a Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rating system to determine the safety fitness of motor carriers.

The current process takes months for a final ruling on a crash determination to be issued. In some reported cases, more than six months pass before a final ruling is handed down.

A carrier may have one or two crashes show up on their Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis Improvement Category (BASIC) and go into an alert status even if the carrier’s vehicle was not able to prevent the crash. Once the alert status shows up on CSA, it can take months to remove the alert status utilizing the Crash Causation study.  During this time the carrier is subject to an intervention. Opening the crash up for a 30-day public comment period causes undue delays with many crashes not receiving any public comments.

During the process, FMCSA asks for items such a valid medical card covering the time of the crash or the most recent Motor Vehicle Record further delaying matters.  Whether or not a driver possesses a medical card is irrelevant on whether another party caused a crash. This leads to additional back and forth that can stall the outcome for months.

NWRA advocates fixing the method of determining “crash causation” in the CSA rating system. Additionally, NWRA believes there is a need for an increase in congressional oversight of FMCSA’s implementation of the Safety Fitness Determination piece of the CSA system. NWRA also supports new vehicle and fuel efficiency research grants for CMVs as part of the administration’s efforts to make the U.S. more energy independent.

  • NWRA advocates fixing the FMCSA’s CSA program, particularly with regard to non-preventable crashes and requests for medical cards, to increase the speed in which final rulings are made.
  • NWRA advocates for greater Congressional oversight of the FMCSA’s implementation of the SFD piece of the CSA system.
  • NWRA supports the inclusion of new vehicle and fuel efficiency research grants for CMV’s as part of the administration’s efforts to make the U.S. more energy independent.