ATA hails driver pre-employment screening plan

Oct. 20, 2009
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announcement of a Driver Pre-Employment Screening Program marks the culmination of the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) seven-year effort to refine the driver selection process in order to improve truck safety.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announcement of a Driver Pre-Employment Screening Program marks the culmination of the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) seven-year effort to refine the driver selection process in order to improve truck safety.

Starting in December 2009, FMCSA will provide commercial motor carrier companies with access to driver applicant’s electronic federal driver inspection and crash records as a part of the hiring process.

“Increasing transparency by allowing greater access to driver safety records will greatly improve the hiring of safe commercial vehicle drivers and help raise the safety bar for professional truck drivers,” said Dave Osiecki, ATA vice-president of safety, security, and operations. “Providing employers a more in-depth look at a driver’s safety and compliance history will also help ensure that repeated safety violators do not escape the consequences of their actions.”

Since 2002, ATA has urged FMCSA to provide greater access to an applicant’s history of roadside driver and vehicle inspections, traffic law violations, and US Department of Transportation reportable crashes to evaluate the driver’s past safety performance. This information, also known as safety event data, is collected electronically from state enforcement agencies by the FMCSA, and is stored in their Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) database. The MCMIS database contains safety event data on more than four million commercial drivers.

Once the pre-employment screening program is launched, driver safety records will be readily available to motor carriers regardless of state or jurisdiction. In accordance with federal privacy laws, drivers must first give written consent in order for their records to be released.

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