Major changes to the CSA’s BASIC scoring system may go in to effect as early as December 3rd. The FMCSA had previously announced that the changes would be taking place sometime in December, but never specified exactly when. The biggest changes to the system will be the introduction of a new HazMat BASIC and the dismantling of the Cargo BASIC.
The new HazMat BASIC was created to “better address hazmat crash severity, to better identify compliance problems and to aid first responders [with information].” Largely focusing on placarding and compliance enforcement, it has very little to do with actual safety issues and more with correct documentation. The HazMat BASIC will consist of 238 violations that used to be housed in the Cargo BASIC, and 111 entirely new HazMat specific violations.
Vigillo is one of the companies that provides compliance and management solutions for fleets. Director of client services Sloan Morris pointed out that “the HazMat BASIC does appear to introduce a bias against large carriers that do not specialize in hazmat hauling. Essentially, what this means is that HazMat will be the most sensitive of the BASICs—very few violations can push a fleet over the threshold, especially if they do not specialize in hazmat.”
While the HazMat BASIC may become the most sensitive, the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC, previously the longest BASIC, is about to become even longer. It is now being expanded to include all violations previously handled by the Cargo BASIC except those now handled by HazMat.
These changes have been in the works for a while now, and this is not the last round of revisions we’ll be seeing in the near future. With their far-from-perfect system still being far from perfect, we should be expecting to see many, many more changes coming our way.