Search InFocus  


Login Form  


FMCSA Improves SMS with ASPEN Enhancements


FMCSA Improves SMS with ASPEN Enhancements

In July 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in conjunction with its State Partners and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, refined the roadside inspection system, ASPEN, to improve the Safety Measurement System (SMS). SMS uses roadside inspections, reported through ASPEN, and crash data to prioritize motor carriers for interventions.

This action is in response to stakeholder feedback that indicated that some commercial driver violations in SMS are a result of license suspensions for non-safety related reasons, such as failing to pay a parking ticket. Motor carriers often cannot detect these suspensions when doing required background or annual checks of a driver’s driving record.

The refinement to ASPEN will collect more precise data about drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMV) while disqualified to improve the Agency’s ability to identify non-compliant and unsafe motor carriers. Specifically, the enhancement will allow roadside inspectors to classify disqualified driver violations into different categories depending on whether the driver’s license is:

­          Suspended by the driver’s license-issuing State or another State; and

­          Suspended for a safety-related (e.g., speeding or false logs violations) or non-safety related (e.g., failure to pay parking tickets) reason.

This additional data will strengthen the effectiveness and accuracy of the Driver Fitness Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) of the SMS. More importantly, it will hold motor carriers accountable for using a driver with a license that has been suspended for safety-related reasons by the driver’s license-issuing State.

The table below shows the definitions and severity weights assigned to the updated violations in ASPEN effective July 20, 2012. In order to ensure uniform implementation, these changes are not applied retroactively.

Violation Before ASPEN Enhancement (Severity Weight)

Violations After ASPEN Enhancement (Severity Weight)

383.51(a) Driving a CMV (CDL) while disqualified (8)

Driving a CMV (CDL) while disqualified (Safety/State of Record) (8)

Driving a CMV (CDL) while disqualified (Safety/Not State of Record) (5)

Driving a CMV (CDL) while disqualified (Non-Safety/State of Record) (5)

Driving a CMV (CDL) while disqualified (Non-Safety/Not State of Record) (1)

391.15(a) Driving a CMV while disqualified (8)

Driving a CMV while disqualified (Safety/State of Record) (8)

Driving a CMV while disqualified (Safety/Not State of Record) (5)

Driving a CMV while disqualified (Non-Safety/State of Record) (5)

Driving a CMV while disqualified (Non-Safety/Not State of Record) (1)


For more information about CSA, visit the CSA website:


Quick Read!  

Good content management software can not only make your life easier, but it can save you time, money, and above all save you from the headache of manually updating your site or outsourcing changes. Here are seven ways it can benefit your business, no matter level of technical knowledge you possess.


1.) No need for a B.S. in C.S. to update your site. Programming and markup languages can seem very foreign unless you have studied computer science or a related field. This can create a barrier between you and your site. With a CMS, the need to know these languages is eliminated. Content management software is tailored to the needs of non-technical people, using boxes, text ,or symbols that are easily recognized to help you update your site instantly.


2.) A professional looking site has consistency. Anyone who has surfed the Web knows that inconsistencies in Web sites can make it seem as though they were created by a 5-year-old. Design, layout, format, and color changes that were initially created to draw attention to a page can actually serve as a distraction to the site's initial purpose. Content management software makes standardization easy; designs, text sizes, fonts, formats, and layouts can be created consistently throughout the site. However, standardizing does not mean your site will be generic or boring. Creative design combined with a CMS and an effective online marketing campaign will ensure your site's success.


3.) Dynamic up-to-date sites are created. If the information is outdated on a Web page, the site will appear stagnant. A CMS eliminates the wait time when needing to update. A CMS allows you to instantly post up-to-the-minute news and information about your company. You may also have the opportunity for rotating articles and images in your pages, so your site is constantly changing even if you don't have time to update as often as you would like.


4.) Save your business a substantial amount of money. In the past, the only way to maintain a professional looking Web site was to hire someone to do it for you. However, when you outsource a job such as updating a Web site, you are not always the company's first priority and there is usually a large hourly rate or monthly retainer associated with the service. Content management software gives you the ability to do it yourself instantly, and at a fraction of the price. It also allows for several authors, giving you the ability to assign certain sections to the people that are best suited to input the information.


5.) Allows for Separation of Content, Structure, and Design. Normally, when wanting to redesign a Web site or change the structure, it is necessary to do a complete rebuild of the site, which can take a lot of time and money. With a CMS the design, content, and structure are separated. You can change the content without losing the design of the site, and you can change the design without losing the content.


6.) Work-at-home friendly. Everyone knows that you can't plan for the unexpected, but you can be prepared. Whether it be a doctor's visit or a sick child, neither can stop you from updating your site with a CMS. All you need to have is an Internet- accessible computer and a Web browser to make immediate updates to your Web site from anywhere.


7.) Increases consumer interaction. Content management software will give your business a greater ability to interact with your target audience. With a CMS you may choose to send out an online newsletter, which allows you to share any new progress in your business, special promotions, or general information about your company. You may also choose to create a contact form, interactive calendars of events, press releases systems, etc. A good CMS tool will enable you, the non-technical professional, to perform these and a myriad of other important (and often costly) Web site functions easily and affordably.

Rush Truck Centers open new location in Ohio.

Navistar  has recalled 21,831 International brand trucks to check for a  possible defect that could cause an electrical  short.

Europe looks at Carbon Credits, may ask for bailout

Carbon Credits, do you have yours?


Photo Gallery  

Failed Brake Chamber, 9-18-10.jpg