FMCSA | SambaSafety

Happy Anniversary FMCSA – Meet The Parents

Happy February everybody, and Happy Anniversary!

Its been exactly 6 months (August 1 – Feb 1) since FMCSA launched their 24 month Crash Preventability Demonstration Program to see what impact it would have if FMCSA reviewed DOT Record-able crashes and made Preventable/Non-Preventable determinations for purposes of CSA crash scores. So happy 6-month (26 week) anniversary!

According to findings a 6-month relationship is important because this is when three key relationship milestones take place:

  • Revealing of one’s imperfections (24 weeks)
  • First argument (23 weeks)
  • Parental introductions take place (24 weeks)

So I ran some numbers FMCSA, its time to meet Momma.

Imperfection #1 – Permitted time period out of sync with CSA Scores

Lets start at the highest level.  Motor Carrier (CSMS) CSA scoring is based on the most immediate past 2 years of data including crashes.  In the two years prior to January 1, 2018, FMCSA recorded 307,732 crashes.  (MCMIS as of December snapshot).

All Crashes – Two Years

But FMCSA only allows crashes after June 1, 2017 to be submitted for reviews under its new program that started August 1, 2017.  So less than 25% of CSA crashes can be submitted at this time, it will only catch up with the 2 year CSA window, as the Demonstration Program comes to a close at the end of 24 months.

Crashes Qualifying for Review – 76,122 (24.7% of all Crashes)

Crash Locations – States (Oh look, Texas wins again!)

So as we sit here at the 6-month milestone, we can only judge the preventability project on the 1,149 submitted crashes out of 76,122 crashes that could possibly be submitted under the limitations put in place for this program, or 24.7% of all possible crashes. I never understood the reasoning behind limiting crash submissions to those since June, when FMCSA uses crashes back two years for scoring purposes. Seems fair to align those dates, but hey, we were early in the relationship and we didn’t want to have that first argument.

Imperfection #2 –  Transparency could be better

On August 1, as soon as the Demonstration Program launched, Vigillo started capturing all crashes submitted through DataQ’s.  FMCSA publishes the outcomes of crash reviews publicly, but cycles them through every 30 days, removing the previous month from public view.  There is no running total, so we created one.  We set up a daily capture and can now report that 1,149 crashes have been submitted for review by 588 different motor carriers since August 1.  That’s just 1.5% of the possible 76,122 that have been recorded in that same time period. This is starting to look an awful lot like the DataQ’s system we already dated and broke up with.  Lets get some reporting in there team, this is a demonstration program, lets see the results without having to do backflips. Motor Carriers, lets get busy, submit those crashes.

Imperfection #3 – Only certain predetermined categories can be submitted

FMCSA predetermined that only crashes in the following categories can be submitted for review:

  • When the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) was struck by a motorist driving under the influence (or related offense)
  • When the CMV was struck by a motorist driving the wrong direction
  • When the CMV was struck in the rear
  • When the CMV was struck while it was legally stopped or parked, including when the vehicle is unattended
  • When the CMV struck an individual committing, or attempting to commit, suicide by stepping or driving in front of the CMV
  • When the CMV sustained disabling damage after striking an animal in the roadway
  • When the crash was the result of an infrastructure failure, or falling trees, rocks, or debris
  • When the CMV was struck by cargo or equipment from another vehicle

And this is the breakdown now 6 months into the Program:

Actual Submissions by Crash category – 1,149 submitted

Actual Review Outcomes by Crash category – 596 Non-Preventable (52%)

Our first argument – Many clearly Non-Preventable Crashes are not being reviewed.

So to recap, Crashes going back two years should be permitted for submission, we need better and more transparent reporting from FMCSA, and with the huge investment in technology, including camera’s, there should not be predetermined categories of acceptable crashes.  It is impossible for anyone outside FMCSA to know how many crashes are being submitted and rejected out of hand because they are not in one of the pre-determined categories, and even less knowable, how many carriers don’t even try.

The link below is from a motor carrier who will remain anonymous, and it shows a crash that is clearly not preventable by the driver or motor carrier.  But it is a side collision, and FMCSA has predetermined that no side collision can be reviewed.  It is a Demonstration Program, lets demonstrate what is possible today with technology and video.  Until you do, I’m not sure how I feel about continuing our relationship, or having you meet my parents.






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.


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.