December 1, 2016 | SambaSafety

CSA Reform Progress Report – Scores Offline For One Year

CSA Reform Status

 Steve Bryan, Vigillo CEO/Founder gives comments to National Academies of Sciences in Washington DC last June

Steve at NAS


On December 4th, 2015, President Obama signed the FAST Act (Highway Bill) that secured funding for infrastructure, removed CSA Scores from public view, and defined a reform process for the CSA Program that would lead to the return of the Scores once proper reforms were made and Congress authorized their re-publication to the public.

Reform Summary

The FAST Act required the FMCSA to retain the services of the National Academies of Sciences – Engineering – Medicine. (NAS) An 18 month process was outlined where the NAS would address the flaws of CSA and issue recommendations as to how they might be addressed.  I have previously summarized those flaws from the FAST Act as follows:

1. The accuracy with which the BASIC’s identify high risk carriers and predict or are correlated with future crash risk, crash severity, or other safety indicators for motor carriers. (Safety Event Groups)

2. The accuracy of safety data, including the use of crash data from crashes in which a motor carrier was free from fault. (Crash Accountability)

3. Whether BASIC percentiles for carriers of passengers should be calculated separately from motor carriers of freight. (Freight vs Passenger systems)

4. The differences in the rates at which violations are reported to the FMCSA by various enforcement authorities, including States, territories, and Federal inspectors (State Difference)

5. How members of the public use the SMS and what effect making the SMS information public has had on reducing crashes

6. Whether the SMS provides comparable precision and confidence, through SMS alerts and percentiles, for the relative crash risk of individual large and small motor carriers;  (Small Carriers largely unscored)

7. Whether alternatives to the SMS would identify high risk carriers more accurately

8. FMCSA has fully implemented or satisfactorily addressed the issues raised in the report titled ‘‘Modifying the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Program Would Improve the Ability to Identify High Risk Carriers’’ of the GAO dated February 2014.



Hi everyone,

We have not updated you about the FMCSA upgrades in a  little while but we’ve been back to Washington DC and met with the FMCSA since last time and have some news:

The FMCSA upgrade is still not complete but thankfully the FMCSA are now posting news about the upgrade status, you can see those below. At Vigillo what we are seeing is that some DOT’s still cannot log in to FMCSA Portal. The FMCSA are very aware of this and we contact them multiple times per day and have escalated this to the very highest levels.


The SMS BASIC Percentile scores for this month were calculated with inspection, violation and crash data only up through November 16th, not up to the SMS Snapshot date of November 25th. The data for the latter half of November (Nov 17th – Nov 25th) will be included in next month’s SMS update. This may cause you some anomalies in your BASIC Percentile scores this month as only half the usual amount of data is being used. Still, the CSA Methodology is a relative scoring system so much of this should mostly balance out but we do see some significant Percentile changes for the month.

We are seeing that some States are still not reporting inspection, violation or crash data, or are not reporting it completely. We don’t yet know if this data will be backdated at a later time but we will keep you updated on this.

Here is what the FMCSA are reporting:

  • Display of the Safety Measurement System (SMS) Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) is currently disabled within the Portal. To view your SMS data, log into the CSA SMS Website.
  • Not all State inspections/crashes are uploaded at this time. FMCSA is working/troubleshooting with some individual States to complete the inspection/crash upload.
  • Individual Carrier Safety Profile generation is not working for some carriers. FMCSA is working to restore this functionality to all carriers

QC Mobile API

The QC Mobile API used to programmatically retrieve L&I information is back online although it does have some intermittent problems and was down for much of last weekend. It is working correctly at this moment. The FMCSA are working on this.

The FMCSA have reported to us that they expect to have all problems relating to the Compass Portal upgrade addressed by the time of the next SMS monthly update which is on the week of January 9th 2017.

We will keep you updated as we find out more and Happy Holidays from Vigillo.

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Today we have some good news about the L&I API:

QC Mobile L&I API

This API is the main and only way to bulk or programmatically retrieve L&I information from the FMCSA. Many DOT’s and software companies use this API to populate L&I information. Unfortunately this API has been unavailable since the FMCSA’s move to Amazon’s servers (called AWS) since November 16th 2016:

GOOD NEWS: This API is back working today 12/16

We don’t know how reliable it will be but here at Vigillo we have turned our access back on and L&I information is now flowing into our Carrier Select program once more.

We will keep you updated on this.

FMCSA Compass Portal Access

While many DOT’s now have access to their FMCSA Portal account we have significant reports of accounts still locked out, accounts are “stuck in a loop”.  We know from discussions with the FMCSA that they are highly aware of this and are working on it as a priority.

Vigillo’s Inspection Management System compares FMCSA inspections with company provided inspections. Normally these match up to a high degree. However, we are recently seeing higher rates of mismatch. This appears to indicate that the inspection, violations and crash data in FMCSA Portal may not be complete. We will continue to investigate this and keep you updated.

SMS Monthly Update

The SMS snapshot date is November 25, 2016 but there isn’t any inspection/violation or crash data later than November 16th currently in SMS. We have investigated this and preliminary results show that the FMCSA appear to have used only this data to compute this month’s BASIC Percentile scores. We should have a complete answer on this  very soon and will keep you updated.

As previously mentioned  the FMCSA has added 10 new Acute/Critical violations this month.



The FMCSA’s Compass Portal migration to Amazon is still experiencing challenges today. Here is the latest update:

FMCSA Compass Portal Access

While Vigillo can now access daily data from portal for many customers there is still widespread Portal Account access issues. The FMCSA are aware of this (we just spoke with them this morning) and have escalated this issue. If you are having problems accessing your portal account then this should get addressed by the FMCSA hopefully soon (no need to call as they won’t submit a ticket since they already know about this).

Our Support team are working directly with customers on this issue. If you have any questions please call us at 503-688-5100 x102 or email us at

SMS Monthly Update

While the latest SMS snapshot date is November 25, 2016 there doesn’t appear to be any inspection/violation or crash date later than November 16th in SMS. This begs the question; what data was used by the FMCSA to compute this month’s CSA Percentile Scores? Is it all the data up to the snapshot of Nov 25th, or is it just half the regular data displayed up to Nov 16th. Here is what the FMCSA says:

“The CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) Website has been updated with the November 25, 2016 snapshot. Please note: inspection and crash data is current as of November 16, 2016. The next snapshot will include inspection and crash data for November 17-25. Motor carriers, check your own safety assessments now.

We are working on identifying this issue.

Additionally, the two Inspections and Violations files available for download from SMS that contain the publicly available inspection and violation data used for the current month’s SMS calculations also truncates on November 16th – the data only goes up to 11/16/2016 (instead of the SMS Snapshot date of 11/25/2016). The rest of this data will be posted in next month’s SMS update. Here is what the FMCSA says about this:

Inspection and crash data is current as of November 16, 2016. The next snapshot will include inspection and crash data for
November 17-25. Motor carriers


Changes to CSA This Month.

A change this month is that the FMCSA has added 10 new Acute/Critical violations.

QC Mobile L&I API

This API is still down so no access to L&I information is available in bulk or programmatically, it is one DOT at a time on the L&I website at:

The FMCSA report this as a difficult problem so we have no ETA on when this will get resolved.

Upcoming FMCSA Changes

The FMCSA are going to remove DOT and PIN login to SMS. No more PINS! The only access to SMS in future will be through Compass Portal. This means all motor carriers will need a Portal account. The timeframe from the FMCSA on this is “in the coming months”, here is how the FMCSA phrases it:

“In the coming months, access by U.S. DOT Number and U.S. DOT Number PIN will be disabled on SMS and motor carriers will need to log in using the FMCSA Portal”

This is the latest information we have. The FMCSA are aware of all of these issues and are working to correct them.

We will keep you updated as we learn more