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CSA's Biggest Flaw: Rules Don’t Make You Safe

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Once again, there’s an exhaustive article in this month’s edition of Heavy Duty Trucking discussing CSA compliance. It provides lots of experts commenting on the challenges and some tips on how to achieve better scores. This time, the emphasis is on mechanical defects, probably because the author, Jim Park, is the equipment editor.

Here’s my problem. The article, like the government, assumes that CSA is a solution to the safety problems we face on our highways. It isn’t. At best, it’s a blunt and ineffective instrument that does more harm than good. As we demonstrate in our white paper, The Perversion of Safety In Trucking, you can’t regulate or legislate safety. Safety, but its very definition, is freedom from risk. Risk comes from human behavior. Rules do not control human behavior. If you don’t believe it, ask yourself why we have two million American adults incarcerated right now.

My biggest rub with CSA is that it further detracts from the real work that needs doing. As the government heaps on the regulations, trucking owners, executives and managers are forced to respond. That takes time and mindshare. Both are in limited supply, so when we turn our attention to ridiculous CSA requirements, we’re not taking the time to build a culture of safety and risk avoidance.

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