Program applauded by ATA
May 19, 2010 9:55 AM
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) applauds the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) implementation of a Pre-Employment Screening Program for professional truck drivers, which is one item on ATA’s 18-point safety agenda. The program provides a new safety screening tool for trucking company employers to evaluate a potential driver’s prior safety performance by giving them access to a driver-applicant’s history of roadside driver and vehicle inspection violations, traffic law violations, and DOT-reportable crashes upon the applicant’s written consent.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced May 11 that the Pre-Employment Screening Program offers access to up to five years of driver crash data and three years of inspection data regardless of the state or jurisdiction.
“ATA has advocated for a pre-employment screening program for the past eight years as another tool to help improve safety on our nation’s highways,” said ATA Senior Vice-President Dave Osiecki. “This new program will allow companies to better screen professional drivers they are considering hiring to put behind the wheel.”
Until today, motor carriers have had no access to driver-applicants’ history of violations at roadside driver and vehicle inspections and DOT-reportable crashes. This information, known as safety event data, is collected electronically by FMCSA from state enforcement agencies, and is stored in a database called the Motor Carrier Management Information System.
Without this new tool, potentially unsafe drivers who committed repeated safety compliance violations or traffic law violations and were terminated by their employers for cause could simply seek employment with another carrier without fear that many of the violations would be discovered or reviewed.
“In addition to supporting this new program, ATA will encourage FMCSA’s service provider (NIC Technologies) to price this new service in a way that ensures that the data is widely available in the industry,” Osiecki said.
To participate in the program and submit inquiries, motor carriers must first enroll in the program. Carriers that are already enrolled may begin querying FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System for a $10 fee and with a driver applicant’s written consent.
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