Facing two lawsuits over the accuracy of its driver safety database, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said it will make it easier soon for trucking companies and drivers who want to clear their records of citations that have been dismissed in court.
Under the proposal, disclosed in a Dec. 2 notice posted in the Federal Register, the agency’s Motor Carrier Management Information System and a related state database management system will be modified so that they can reflect results of violations that have been dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge in state or local courts.
The Motor Carrier Management Information System contains a record of roadside inspections by state and local authorities and is used in a number of FMCSA programs, including Compliance, Safety, Accountability and the Pre-Employment Screening Program. Citations affect the operators’ Safety Measurement System scores.
But if drivers can show that a citation issued — after the change takes effect — was dismissed, the violation would be cleared from FMCSA’s databases, according to the agency. Safety scores also would be changed to reflect convictions on lesser charges. FMCSA defines convictions to include cases in which drivers paid a fine or penalty, even when charges were dismissed, according to the proposal.
As for the lawsuits, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sued FMCSA on behalf of five drivers who were denied requests to have dismissed tickets removed from their Motor Carrier Management Information System profile. OOIDA’s attorneys have asked a federal court to rule that FMCSA must remove any violations that are dismissed in court.
The cases have significant implications for the motor carrier industry, said Paul Cullen Sr., OOIDA’s attorney. “What happens if all of these records of nonserious violations are thrown out? Then motor carriers should have their safety ratings adjusted,” he said.
- Posted by admin
- On December 23, 2013
- 0 Comments