Compliance, Safety, and Accountability is a government program established to create a standard for fleet safety and reliability. The lower your CSA score the better it is ranked. Fleet managers put in a lot of effort and come up with various strategies in order to achieve and maintain a good CSA score as this opens the doors to more clients and better opportunities.
Another essential part of maintaining a good CSA score is that the government will not come down on your hard for safety checks and clients will know that your business ensures safety.
If you’re wondering ‘How to improve your CSA scores?’ Here are some key practices and tips to achieve safety and improve your CSA score:
1. Use Electronic Logging and Tracking Devices.
Tracking and electronic logging devices can help improve your CSA score.
By using these devices, drivers and office personnel can monitor the hours drivers are working and conform to hours-of-service regulations, as well as inform drivers when they are about to reach their driving time limit.
Any violation of CSA regulations such as outdated logs can negatively impact your CSA score. This can be avoided with electronic logging as driver’s will not have to manually log or record information. This also absolves any chance of human error.
2. Prior Vehicle Maintenance and Inspection
Broken or non functional lights and faulty braking systems can also set your CSA score back. Prior inspection is essential to preventive maintenance as it will help you identify problems before they become bigger and save you a lot of money
3. Contesting Citations
If you’re faced with a citation that has severely affected your CSA score, you can contest it. There is a two year term for contesting any citation or a violation. Claiming for dismissal can be done to reverse the negative impact of violations, but if the charge is severe, contesting it can lead to a significantly reduced impact on your CSA score
4. Focus on Hiring
Freights or carriers use something called the Pre-Employment Screening Program to significantly reduce any out of service citations. PSP is also known to bring down the accident rate.
Another overlooked but very important factor of hiring is the driver’s fluency in English. A driver must be skilled when it comes to talking to law enforcement as they have to deal with them almost on a daily basis.
Drivers should have the following communication skills to perform the following:
- Being able to correctly fill out paperwork or any other documentation required
- Being able to talk to DOT officers respectfully as well as ensuring the verification process goes smoothly from both sides.
- Being able to properly answer any questions that officers would ask from drivers regarding safety and compliance of the vehicle.
Since it is a requirement for fleet drivers to be able to effectively communicate in english, failing to do so may affect your CSA score. All this can be avoided at the hiring stage, so it is important to focus on your hiring process.
5. Be Up-to-date with your Driver’s Medical cards
As driver’s require a medical card or certification to operate vehicles, this has the potential to lead to a lot of violations that occur due to invalid or expired driver medical certifications.
Invaid certification can set you back up to 10 points, however if driver’s are caught on duty while being severly ill, this could severely set you back. This type of violation can be avoided if you are on top of your drivers’ medical details and ensure they are renewed beforehand.
The Relationship between CSA Scores and Fleet Camera Systems
The first and most essential step towards improving your CSA score is to install Fleet Camera systems. These cameras can provide real time data on drivers, their behaviour, and essentially all data that can be used to identify areas and improve CSA scores. Dash cams also provide evidence of accidents if you are ever involved in one and need to prove your innocence to authorities and deal with insurance agencies.
The Benefits of using Fleet Camera Systems
Monitor Driving Behaviour
Knowing that you are constantly being monitored at all times can improve a driver’s behaviour and encourage safe driving. Camera tapes can also give insight into their drivers’ driving skill and help show and train them on things that they wouldn’t have or be able to notice while sitting on the driver’s seat. This way, dashcams are used for training their fleet and equipping them on ways to make better choices while on the road and ultimately increase safety.
You are Able To Get Better Insurance Deals
Insurance companies will typically give you a good insurance rate for your fleet considering you have a decent CSA score, and more importantly, if you’ve installed dash cameras or fleet tracking systems. Installing dash cams can provide footage if an accident occurs. This can save you a lot of time and worries when it comes to filing for insurance claims and can even hold in court if you need to contest a case. Insurance agencies also know that vehicles with dash cams installed means that driver’s are at their best behaviour when they are behind the wheel, which is why they offer better deals as there is less risk overall.
Provides Proof of Timely Deliveries
There are always those cases in the fleet industry where there is conflict over goods delivered on time and at the correct location. Being able to provide details GPS location and timestamps can sort out these conflicts. Unfortunately there are many fraudulent clients that are looking for ways to get a discount and save money by cooking up stories about late deliveries or not being present at the location at the established time of delivery. This works both ways, if your driver is not truthful, then you will be able to point that out and save yourself from losing a good client.
Provides Proof of Vehicle Theft or Tampering
Vehicle Theft is a part of the Fleet industry as there are always thieves or vandals looking to steal or destroy your equipment or vehicle. Having a dash cam that records 24/7, and equipped with night time recording functionality can allow you go gather evidence if this incident ever occurs. Keep in mind that you will need front, sides and back facing dash cams if you want a chance to catch these criminals, because if they are really plotting to steal, then you need to cover all sides.