Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association wants the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Administration to amend a recent proposal that
shields motor carriers from liability when they provide inaccurate
information as part of the truck driver background check process.
little history: Congress in 1994 directed FMCSA to provide more
detail of previous driver safety data to be investigated by prospective
employers – from all previous employers going back three years.
The Hazardous Materials Transportation Authorization Act required
employers to provide this information.
Sept. 26 comments to FMCSA, OOIDA said the agency should be concerned
that inaccurate, outdated or imprecise data is often collected and
distributed, which ends up unfairly damaging a driver’s ability
to find work.
example, some irresponsible carriers even manipulate background
check information to retaliate against or blackball safe drivers
who refuse pressure to violate safety rules – most notably hours-of-service
when that happens, the proposed rule actually protects the carrier
from liability. In fact, the rule emphasizes carriers’ supposed
fear of their exposure to legal liability – just for following the
finds this fear suspect and vastly overstated,” the association,
in its comments to FMCSA, said. “We don’t understand why any carrier
would express any fear of liability unless they know or believe
the information they are using is false, or that they are engaged
in improper use of such information.”
suggested changes OOIDA would like to see:
should have the right to review a safety performance history at
any time – not just during the hiring process, as the proposed rule
suggests. The current rule provides no meaningful ability to correct
an inaccurate record.
should limit background investigations to information directly related
to a driver’s safety qualifications under federal law; and to require
the information reported be made with sufficient detail to ensure
carrier should be required to verify and attest that the information
it transmits is true and that safety performances should only relate
to the driver’s history with that carrier.
addition, there should be some guidance as to whether the previous
carrier should be required to delete any information older than
three years from its records or from records it received from other
prospective employer should automatically give the driver a copy
of any background information it receives; and FMCSA should require
written authorization from a driver before a carrier begins a background
check. Without such knowledge, the driver will not know when his
or her rights to review, attempt to correct or rebut the information
have been triggered.
former carrier should be given seven days, instead of the proposed
30 days, to respond to a driver’s attempt to correct or rebut employment
information, so the driver can quickly begin working.