As if DAC reports, driving records, criminal histories, National Driver Register and reference checks weren’t enough, two new programs will offer motor carriers the ability to research new information on potential drivers.
Driver Pre-Employment Screening Program
In late 2009, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a Driver Pre-Employment Screening Program to provide commercial motor carrier companies with access to driver applicant’s electronic federal driver inspection and crash records as a part of the hiring process.
The new program will provide carriers with greater access to an applicant’s history of roadside driver and vehicle inspections, traffic law violations, and DOT reportable crashes to evaluate the driver’s past safety performance. This information, also known as safety event data, is collected electronically from state enforcement agencies by the FMCSA, and is stored in their Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) database. The MCMIS database contains safety event data on more than 4 million commercial drivers.
Carriers and drivers will be required to pay for the information and drivers must provide written consent for their records to be obtained. There is no requirement (at this time) that carriers must obtain the information and it is not known how many carriers will use the information.
Under CSA 2010, all carriers — and in the future all drivers — with sufficient safety data available will receive a safety rating that will be periodically updated. Currently, FMCSA is able to provide safety ratings for relatively few carriers and for no drivers.
CSA2010 will calculate a score based on seven “behavior areas.”
CSA 2010 BASICs:
• Unsafe Driving — Dangerous or careless operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Data includes driver traffic violations and convictions for speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, inattention, and other unsafe driving behavior. (FMCSR Parts 392 and 397)
• Fatigued Driving (Hours of Service) — Driving a CMV when fatigued. This is distinguished from incidents where unconsciousness or an inability to react is brought about by the use of alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances. Data includes (1) HOS violations discovered during an off-site investigation, on-site investigation, roadside inspection, or post-crash inspection, and (2) crash reports with driver fatigue as a contributing factor. (FMCSR Parts 392 and 395)
• Driver Fitness — Operation of a CMV by drivers who are unfit to operate a CMV due to lack of training, experience, or medical qualification. Data includes (1) inspection violations for failure to have a valid and appropriate CDL or medical or training documentation, (2) crash reports citing a lack of experience or medical reason as a cause or contributory factor, and (3) violations from an off-site investigation or an on-site investigation for failure to maintain proper driver qualification files, or use of unqualified drivers. (FMCSR Parts 383 and 391)
• Controlled Substances and Alcohol — Operation of a CMV while impaired due to alcohol, illegal drugs, and misuse of prescription medications or over-the-counter medications. Data includes (1) roadside violations involving controlled substances or alcohol, (2) crash reports citing driver impairment or intoxication as a cause, (3) positive drug or alcohol test results on drivers, and (4) lack of appropriate testing or other deficiencies in motor carrier controlled substances and alcohol testing programs. (FMCSR Part 392)
• Vehicle Maintenance — CMV failure due to improper or inadequate maintenance. Data includes (1) roadside violations for brakes, lights, and other mechanical defects, (2) crash reports citing a mechanical failure as a contributing factor, and (3) violations from an off-site investigation or an on-site investigation associated with pre-trip inspections, maintenance records, and repair records. (FMCSR Parts 393 and 396)
• Cargo Related — Shifting loads, spilled or dropped cargo, and unsafe handling of hazardous materials. Data includes (1) roadside inspection violations pertaining to load securement, cargo retention, and hazardous material handling, and (2) crash reports citing shifting loads, or spilled/dropped cargo as a cause or contributing factor. (FMCSR Parts 392, 393, 397 and HM Violations), and
• Crash Indicator— Histories or patterns of high crash involvement, including frequency and severity. Data includes law enforcement crash reports and crashes reported by the carrier and discovered during on-site investigations.
Recent roadside violations and violations that correlate most with crashes will be weighted more heavily than other violations. SMS will then rank carrier scores relative to their peers to determine which entities have specific safety problems.
What does this mean to me as a driver?
It will have an impact on you and your career in the future. The following, (used by permission from http://www.csa2010.com) sums it up well:
• For the first time, each commercial vehicle license holder (YOU!) will be assigned a ‘Safety Rating”
• YOUR safety rating will follow you regardless of the company you work for or contract with
• YOUR activity on the highway, i.e. roadside inspection violations, accidents, tickets, even warning tickets will have a negative impact on your personal safety rating
• YOU could be declared UNFIT and lose your ability to drive for a living as a result of a poor safety rating. Companies will HIRE and FIRE based on your safety rating, and
• YOUR PAY could be affected as a result of a poor safety rating. Likewise, you could earn MORE with a favorable safety rating.
DOTJobHistory will monitor these programs and allow DOTJobHistory members to obtain and review their information.
Derek Hinton has more than 20 years experience in the areas of employment screening, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Motor Carrier Safety regulations. He began his career at DAC Services in 1984 and is the author of “The Criminal Records Manual,” a book that details criminal records in the hiring process. Contact information for Hinton can be found at dotjobhistory.com.