CSA and Driver Availablility

The latest survey from ATRI indicates professional drivers have not been seriously impacted by the CSA program.

This news comes from a report, which spans nearly 80 pages, titled Compliance, Safety, Accountability: Evaluating a New Safety Measurement System and Its Implications. The report was released by ATRI, the American Transportation Research Institute. This body serves as a research branch of America's trucking organizations. In the report, there is information provided by over 6,000 professional truckers, more than 1,000 carrier companies, numerous shipping companies and around 40 police officers.

According to the report, only a miniscule portion of truck drivers have been driven out of work because of the CSA. This fact was the complete opposite of what the industry expected. Soon after the CSA's release, many people were estimating that anywhere between ten and 20 percent of truckers would loose their jobs because of it.

In the report, it was stated that since some ten percent of truckers accounted for almost 50 percent of safety-related problems, at least that many would be eliminated as soon as the CSA program became law. However, despite grave concerns, carrier surveys provided by ATRI showed that roughly 90 percent of companies have only terminated between zero and five percent of their workforce. These numbers were drastically smaller than the previous industry estimates.

The report went on to state that the law was mostly impacting people who were entering the trucking industry. It allows for less tolerance when assessing new applicants' driving history compared to currently-employed drivers. Because companies have better knowledge regarding current employees than those who have just applied, it makes sense. Companies already possess a wealth of information about employees' home lives, behavior and personalities, which can play a bigger role in employability than MVR or MCMIS records alone. However, ATRI explained that it still noticed prospective employees being judged primarily by their driving records.

The report also stated that, in the last two years, PSP has been highly effective in filtering out the majority of unsuitable truckers. However, although this practice is a beneficial one overall and will serve to keep safety standards high, it may have unintended consequences. Companies are now reporting having a difficult time attracting and hiring skillful and dependable new drivers. In 2011, that figure stood at 72 percent. This year, however, the figure grew to a startling 83 percent according to ATRI's survey, along with the current popularity of using PSP when hiring new drivers.

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