Jun 1, 2010 12:00 PM, By Rick Weber
Dealing with the impact of CSA 2010 will require careful hiring, adherence to a good data retention program
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To those companies that choose not to enroll in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP): Be prepared to explain to a jury why you didn't.
That was the message delivered by attorney Ryan T Hand of Lorance & Thompson PC in “Surviving the Storm of Electronic Evidence: Dealing with the Impact of CSA 2010 and Other Electronic Data in Trucking Litigation.” Hand spoke during the National Tank Truck Carriers annual Tank Truck Safety & Security Council Seminar April 6-8 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Hand said there is a hiring conundrum in screening and qualifying new-driver applicants through PSP, a new program mandated by Congress to assist the motor carrier industry in assessing the individual driver's crash and serious safety-violation history as a pre-employment condition.
“It's called ‘voluntary,’ but I think it might end up being almost mandatory because of the repercussions,” he said. “PSP contains Driver Information Resource (DIR) records on individual drivers. So there will be a source out there that will capture all data obtained through CSA 2010 on each driver. Requests are made through NIC Technologies for this information, and data is from Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS).
“FMCSA says you must have driver authorization, and it can only be obtained for pre-employment screening. It contains five years of crash data and three years of roadside inspection data from the FMCSA. FMCSA says the raw data that will be available to carriers and drivers in the PSP is the same data used in the Driver Safety Measurement System (DSMS), but it does not provide a score or assessment from the FMCSA.”
The cost for carriers with less than 100 power units is a $25 annual fee, plus $10 per record. Carriers with more than 100 power units will pay a $100 annual fee, plus $10 per record.
Hand said FMCSA called DSMS a “tool that enables enforcement personnel to assess individual drivers according the new Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) scheme.” Law enforcement will use this tool to examine the safety performance of drivers when they conduct CSA 2010 carrier investigations.
New hire investigation
He said FMCSR 391.23 requires each motor carrier to make the following investigation within 30 days of hire: three years of driving record from the state where the driver held a driver's license and three years of employment record. He said carriers typically obtain MVRs and reports from services such as DAC and USIS.
“Should you add PSP to the list, although it's not specifically required by the regulations?” he said. “What additional information would you obtain from the PSP?”
He said the BASICs program targets the following:
Unsafe Driving. Operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in a dangerous or careless manner (speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, and inattention).
Fatigued Driving. Operation of CMVs by drivers who are ill, fatigued, or in non-compliance with hours-of-service (HOS) regulations (log violations, illness, or fatigue).
Driver Fitness. Operation of CMVs by drivers who are unfit to operate a CMV due to lack of training, experience, or medical qualifications (failure to have a valid CDL and being medically unqualified).
Controlled Substances and Alcohol. Operation of CMVs by drivers who are impaired due to alcohol, illegal drugs, and misuse of prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Vehicle Maintenance. CMV failure due to improper or inadequate maintenance (brakes, lights, and other mechanical defects, and failure to make required repairs).
Improper Loading/Cargo Securement. CMV incident resulting from shifting loads, spilled, or dropped cargo, and unsafe handling of hazardous materials (improper load securement, cargo retention, and hazardous material handling).
Crash Indicator. Histories or patterns of high crash involvement frequency and severity based on information from state-reported crash reports.
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