DOT Seeking Comment on Driver Safety Records
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking public comment on the safety performance information employers would be required to look for when hiring new commercial motor vehicle drivers. According to the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA), under current regulations, employers are required to check driving records and investigate the employment history of new drivers. Under the current rules, however, there is no requirement for previous employers to respond to inquiries.FMCSA noted that currently, many former employers refuse to respond to employment investigations, while others, for fear of litigation, merely verify that the driver worked for the carrier and provide the driver’s dates of employment.In a notice published in the Federal Register on July 17, 2003, FMCSA proposes a limitation on the liability of those who are required to provide and use driver safety performance information. Under the proposal, a previous employer would, for a period of three years, be required to respond within 30 days to inquiries from prospective motor carriers about an applicant. The information would include dates of employment, involvement in reportable accidents, the driver’s three-year alcohol and controlled substance history, and information about rehabilitation referrals. The rulemaking also proposes that employers be required to keep reportable accident information for three years, instead of the current one year.