OOIDA criticizes driver screening proposal

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) should amend a recent proposal that protects motor carriers from liability even if they knowingly provide inaccurate information as part of the truck driver background-check process.

In a statement, OOIDA said FMCSA's proposal does not protect truckers from carriers that choose to manipulate background check information to retaliate against or blackball safe drivers who refuse pressure to violate safety rules — most notably hours-of-service (HOS) regulations.

“OOIDA finds this fear suspect and vastly overstated,” the association said in its comments to FMCSA's proposed rule. “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.”

FMCSA should be concerned that inaccurate, outdated, or imprecise data is often collected and distributed, which ends up unfairly damaging a driver's ability to find work, OOIDA said.

The group said FMCSA should require carriers to verify that the information it transmits is true and that safety performances should only relate to the driver's history with that carrier. It added that drivers should have the right to review a safety performance history at any time, not just during the hiring process, as the proposed rule suggests.

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