The FMCSA CSA 2010 program has dropped the "deficient" category from SafeStat that found trucking companies, in the bottom 25% for driver, vehicle, or company safety, to be "deficient." The new CSA 2010 rating, announced November 18, 2010 without fanfare, will only be an "alert."  Specifically the old SafeStat system states: 

"To obtain a SafeStat score, a carrier must be deficient in at least two SEAs [Safety Evaluation Area].  A SEA with a value from 75 to 100 is defined as deficient.  This range approximates the worst 25% of the carriers assessed within a particular SEA."

SafeStat is being replaced with CSA 2010 next month. The government has stated the purpose of the new system, which includes the BASIC categories, is to identify the safety violations most responsible for a crash. Thus the new system, according to the government algorithms, more closely tracks those carriers that are likely to have a crash. Instead of calling these carriers unsafe, or using the old SafeStat term "deficient." the FMCSA caved to the trucking industry and stated: 

CSA 2010 will "[c]hange the term “Deficient” to “Alert” when a motor carrier’s score in one or more BASICs is above the FMCSA threshold for intervention." "Feedback during the Data Preview indicate that the display of SMS results needs to clarify that BASIC percentiles above the FMCSA threshold signify the carrier is prioritized for an FMCSA intervention and do not signify or otherwise imply a “safety rating” or safety fitness determination. "

If the new CSA 2010 system works, and better identifies those companies most likely to kill and maim members of the public, the FMCSA should quit mincing words and call those companies what they are, unsafe and dangerous.

Unfortunately the DOT and FMCSA caved to industry and therefore you won’t hear those terms, not even for the bottom .00001% of unsafe trucking companies. Not even for those companies, involved in the 4,800 annual fatal collisions, whose failed safety policies caused the collision. The FMCSA should be ashamed of itself.