Earlier this week, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association announced that it had filed a suit against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration last Friday stating that the agency has been releasing inaccurate driver records to employers that ultimately lead to negative consequences for drivers.
According to the suit, the FMCSA is accused of releasing driver data to employers conducting pre-employment screening before the driver’s accusation even reaches the court, resulting in sometimes inaccurate data where the driver was not at fault. 1
In addition, OOIDA presented three case examples in which drivers had their violations dismissed in court, however, these violations still remain in the system even after they submitted appeals through the agency’s DataQ. The FMCSA’s refusal to remove these violations from the system “fails to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, with the Privacy Act, and with mandates governing agency action contained in the previous highway bill, SAFETEA-LU,” OOIDA stated. 1
As a result of inaccurate information being released, drivers are being turned down for jobs.
“By refusing to accept the determination by a court, the FMCSA has in essence made state law enforcement agencies the final judge and jury on all citations. This can ultimately threaten business opportunities and income,” Jim Johnston, President of OOIDA remarked. 1
And it’s not just the driver that is affected but the trucking company as well. The group mentioned the impact that the FMCSA’s CSA program has had especially on small carriers remarking, “This is a terrible message to send to a small-business owner, that the survival of their business is beholden to a computer system that is clearly out of touch with reality.” 2
In its suit, OOIDA asks that the U.S District Court for the District of Columbia mandate the FMCSA to remove any data in which a court ruling was not yet determined, those that were found not guilty in court, those that are “not serious driver-related violations,” as well as “enjoin the agency from distributing information without any reference to a dispute and a summary of the dispute, and enjoin the agency from distributing false, inaccurate, incomplete or misleading inspection reports.” 3
Want to view your data and don’t know how?
Carriers can view their safety scores through the following steps:
-1. Go to the FMCSA website-www.fmcsa.dot.gov
-2. Click on Safety & Security
-3. Click on Company Safety Record
-4. Click on Safety Fitness Electronic Records System
-5. Click on Company Snapshot
-6. Enter Carrier’s DOT, MC number, or Name
-7. Click on SMS Results
Drivers can access their data by the following two ways:
-1. Requesting the information via the pre-employment screening program site at http://www.psp.fmcsa.dot.gov/Pages/default.aspx
-2. Requesting the information via the Freedom of Information Act site at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/foia/index.htm
Have a complaint to file but don’t know how? Easy, just go to DataQ’s site at https://dataqs.fmcsa.dot.gov/login.asp. You are then given the option to either sign in or register. Once logged in, a driver is able to file an appeal.
If you are a driver who was effected by this false information and can prove you exceptional driving record, contact Road Scholar Transport today. We are always looking for talented, dedicated, and customer-obsessed drives to join our team. Visit http://www.roadscholar.com/employment.php today.
Do you agree with OOIDA in that the FMCSA should not post driver data until it undergoes a court ruling? Do you know of any circumstances where this has happened to a driver in the past? List your comments below.
Tags: CSA, DataQ, employment, federal motor carrier safety administration, FMCSA, OOIDA, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, road scholar transport, safety record, truck driver, trucking industry, trucking news