On Wednesday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it will launch a new driver pre-employment screening program, which will allow commercial motor carrier companies to electronically access driver inspection and crash records as a part of the hiring process. The program is expected to begin in December 2009.
“Safety is our number one priority at the Department of Transportation. This new initiative will help trucking companies ensure the safest drivers are behind the wheel of commercial trucks and buses,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Making this information more transparent will make our roads and highways safer for everyone.”
By using driver safety information during pre-employment screening, motor carriers will be able to better assess potential safety risks of a prospective driver-employee, and drivers will have additional opportunities to verify the data in their driving history and correct any discrepancies.
Commercial driver safety records are currently available to federal and state law enforcement personnel, and accessible to drivers through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 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.
The driver pre-employment screening program will be populated by FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). The MCMIS is comprised of driver performance data including roadside inspection and compliance review results, enforcement data, state-reported crashes, and motor carrier census data.