Some truckers are voicing frustration over the disclosure of various violations to potential employers. The truckers are upset that employers are receiving reports of violations like speeding tickets and other non-serious violations when considering whether or not to hire the driver.
The truckers argue that this is a violation of privacy. The government and trucking companies counter that disclosure of this information helps to better ensure safe drivers are operating these massive vehicles.
The argument has led to a lawsuit that calls into question the federal program responsible for these disclosures.
What program led to this lawsuit? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses a Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP). This program is designed to provide trucking companies with information about potential drivers in an attempt to help better ensure drivers with risky driving habits are kept off the roads.
What information does a trucking company get from a PSP report? The PSP provides information like crash data from the past five years and inspection results from the last three years as well as any "serious safety violations for an individual driver."
Why were these reports controversial? A recent article in Overdrive, a trucking publication, discussed the case. It noted that the case initiated with a group of six truck drivers who filed a class action suit. The lower court dismissed the suit, noting that disclosure of these violations would "help to achieve Congress's objective in empowering the FMCSA to promote highway safety."
The drivers appealed the ruling, arguing that the reports were a violation of basic privacy rights. The appellate court upheld the lower court's holding and also dismissed the case.
What does this mean for drivers who are injured in trucking accidents? The case brings attention one of the many attempts by the FMCSA to increase the safety of the nation's highways.
In addition to this program, regulations are also in place to help increase the safety of our roadways. If an unfit driver is allowed to operate one of these vehicles or other regulations are violated, the driver and trucking company may be liable for any resulting accident.
If you are the victim of such an accident, it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced truck accident lawyer to discuss your case and determine the best course of action.