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How CDL Violations Impact The CSA 2010 Score

By Law Offices | Felicia Yates & Associates


The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that over 5 million commercial vehicles (trucks and buses) operate on our nation's highways each year.

The CSA 2010 is the Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 - it is the FMCSA's safety compliance and enforcement program. It's primary objective is to improve safety and prevent commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes, injuries, and fatalities.


Under the Safety Measurement System (SMS), there are an abundance of violations in a CMV that would result in a carrier and/or driver being assigned "Severity Points." The violation severity weights are assigned on a 1 to 10 scale, where 1 represents the lowest crash risk, and 10 represents the highest crash risk.   


The August 2021 SMS Methodology, explains how motor carriers’ safety performance and compliance status in the SMS causes them to be targeted for intervention. Appendix A of this document outlines all of the SMS violations under Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) that would be counted against a driver and/or carrier. Here are some examples of CDL violations which carry CSA 2010 Severity Points...


1. Speeding in a CMV 15 MPH or More Over the Speed Limit (Violation of State or Local Laws) - Severity Weight of "10" - CFR 392.2-SLLS4;

2. Driver’s Record of Duty Status Not Current - Log Book Violation - Severity Weight of "5" - CFR 395.8(f)(1);

3. Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device in a CMV (i.e Weigh Station Sign; Emergency Parking Only Sign) - Severity Weight of "5" - CFR 392.2C;

4. Failing to Use a Seat Belt While Operating a CMV - Severity Weight of "7" - CFR 392.16;

5. Using a Hand-held Mobile Telephone while operating a CMV - Severity Weight of "10" - CFR 392.82(a)(1);

6. Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle while Texting - Severity Weight of "10" - CFR 392.80(a);

7. Failing to Comply with Hazardous Materials Regulations - Markings - Severity Weight of "5" - CFR 171.2(c);

8. Lane Restriction Violation in a CMV - Out of Designated Lane - Severity Weight of "3" - CFR 392.2LV;

9. Improper Passing in a CMV - Severity Weight of "5" - CFR 392.2P;

10. Operating a CMV While Ill or Fatigued - Severity Weight of "10" - CFR 392.3;

11. Failing to Provide Supporting Log Book Documentation Upon Request - Severity Weight of "7" - CFR 395.11G


It is important to contest any such commercial traffic violation, as these and other listed violations are used by the SMS at the specified severity weight - unless the citation result associated with the violation is adjudicated by a court and documented as “dismissed" or "not guilty.” Additionally, getting a violation amended or reduced to another vehicle code section - and documented as “convicted of a different charge,” would limit the severity weight to only "1."


Since everyone's case is unique to that individual and the specific circumstances, you should consult with a competent CDL attorney to determine your best course of action.  Our office has expertise in this area of the law, and we encourage you to reach out for a free consultation.  Attorney Felicia Yates has been practicing law for over 35 years in California and may be contacted at (702) 817-4661, via e-mail at, or via website at




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