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Cover Story
Getting with the program

Case Study
The joy of living returns

Healthy Trucking

John Kelley, M.D.
Preventing flu

Mario Ojeda Jr
On music

Joseph Yao, M.D.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Marie Rodriguez
Mind, Body and Spirit

Highway Angels
Driver helps fellow driver survive heart attack

Wheels of Justice
Driver is key to carrier success in CSA

Salena Lettera
Knowledge is the best medicine

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Publisher's Desk
Hypertension Awareness Month

Murphy's World
Mistakes make great memories

Say What?
What's the best and worst part of your job?


Wheels of Justice

Driver is key to carrier success in CSA           

Everyone involved with interstate trucking has a vested interest in the federal Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) program that should be implemented nationwide by the end of 2010. The new program builds upon the success of the SafeStat system that tracked out-of-service violations. CSA analyzes the actions of motor carriers and their drivers, looking for those who display unsafe behavior.
            Areas of concern are spelled out in the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories or “BASICs.” Carriers' BASICs scores reflect their safety behavior. Information for BASICs scores comes from the roadside, so whether the result is a clean inspection, a citation or a warning for a violation, all information gathered during the inspection affects the score.
            The BASICs include:
1)            Unsafe driving such as careless or dangerous operation
2)            Fatigued driving such as hours-of-service violations
3)            Driver fitness such as training, experience or medical qualification
4)            Controlled substances and alcohol such as
            DUI, illegal drugs and misuse of prescription drugs
5)            Vehicle maintenance such as improper or inadequate maintenance
6)            Loading/Cargo Securement such as shifting or spilled cargo, unsafe handling of hazmat or oversize/overweight violations
7)            Crash/Incident Experience such as patterns of crash involvement
            It is important for every driver to realize that records of their safety behavior and inspection history are maintained for 36 months, updated every month. Whether a driver works for one or several carriers during this time, every clean roadside inspection, citation or violation warning is recorded and has a direct effect on information seen by a potential employer. Since safety records affect carriers' bottom lines, it should surprise no one that employers will seek drivers with clean violation and inspection histories.  
            Job-hopping could become a thing of the past. A new program, the driver Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP), provides a driver's last five years of crash data and three years of roadside inspections to carriers that subscribe to the private service. Because a driver's inspection history is an indicator of their future performance, carriers are not likely to be interested in hiring a driver with an unsafe history.
            Drivers have expressed concern that their records might not be accurate. Claiming that paperwork isn't always completed when they pass an inspection cleanly, they are concerned that PSP data might not accurately record their experience. Clean inspections improve drivers' data and carriers' BASICs scores.
            Jim C. Klepper is the president of Interstate Trucker Ltd., an organization that provides legal defense protection to commercial drivers. Jim is a lawyer who focuses on transportation law and the trucking industry in particular. He works to answer your legal questions about trucking, and he holds his Commercial Drivers License.