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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Truck Driver Screening Program Challenged

As the economy slowly starts to rebound, job applicants are able to be more selective about where they want to work. Some industries are facing real challenges finding people to hire, making it difficult to get the best people to come and work for their companies.

Trucking companies are currently struggling to find qualified truck drivers to staff their open positions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the agency tasked with reducing the amount of trucking accidents that occur on roads throughout the United States, has implemented a series of new rules that have had an impact on the truck driver hiring process.

Drivers applying for jobs with trucking companies must pass through a strict screening process before they can be hired. Safety records are examined, and any violations are referred to the potential employers. This is extremely important information for employers to review, as if a company has a driver that incurs too many safety violations the company can be ordered out of service.

Recently, a group has sued the FMCSA regarding the use of this safety data during the hiring process. The organization, The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, contends that drivers are not able to challenge some of these findings made by the FMCSA, and this is restricting a driver's ability to find work.

Many of the changes being challenged were implemented by the FMCSA's new comprehensive safety plan, which places a greater emphasis on holding drivers and carriers responsible for safety violations. The plan was created in an effort to understand why the number of deaths caused in trucking accidents has not continued to decrease.

Source: The Journal of Commerce "OOIDA Targets Driver Screening, Appeals Process" William B. Cassidy, July 17, 2012.

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