DataQ provides motor carriers with an important mechanism for ensuring FMCSA’s data is correct and accurate. As CSA is now public, DataQ has become even more important to motor carriers to ensure that incorrect data is promptly and completely removed from their scores. This article will discuss 5 important aspects of how DataQ is integral to this process.
I. Roadside Inspection Violations v. Traffic Citation
A driver is cited as a result of a roadside violation, but successfully defends against the citation through the court system. As a result, the violation on the inspection report will not show up on his CSA BASICs score, right? Wrong. A successful challenge in court removes the citation from the MVR. However, the violation remains a part of a carrier’s SMS score unless successfully challenged through DataQ.
II. States May Treat DataQ Challenges Differently
Each state has an office that reviews DataQ challenges and each state may impose its own rules on how DataQ challenges are handled. For instance, some states may consider the outcome of the citation in the court system when determining whether to remove a violation challenged through DataQ. Also, some states may impose a time limit for challenging a violation through DataQ.
III. Crash Data
For purposes of CSA, any reportable accident will be included in a carrier’s SMS score. DataQ may be used to challenge crash data. For instance, if your driver was improperly assessed a “crash”, such as non-contact or noninvolvement or if the accident was “non-reportable” would be proper challenges.
IV. Promptly Make DataQ Challenges
It is important to act timely when making a DataQ challenge. Challenges must be submitted within any applicable state imposed time limitation. Also, keep in mind that SMS scores will reflect the violation while a DataQ challenge is under consideration and during the first 6 months the violation will be scored at triple the points.
CSA is open to the public. More importantly, it is open to shippers, brokers, and insurers. Frequent review of driver scores for is critical to reducing input errors. Improper assessment at the roadside inspection needs to be promptly challenged in order to avoid undue inflation of your SMS score due to double-recording, miss identification, etc. DataQ is the means of doing so. Use and awareness of this system is vital to success in the trucking industry in the 21st century, increasing awareness and decreasing unneeded litigation. An unnecessarily low score can greatly damage a company’s reputation, especially in light of their public availability. And as this method of ensuring accurate scores increases in popularity, those not harnessing its potential will fall behind.