Commercial drivers in the state of Ohio will soon be required to comply with a federal program that provides preliminary screening of driver applicants. Although it had been delayed by a court battle over questions of driver privacy, the matter has recently been resolved in favor of the government.
The question before the court was whether the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration could provide information on prospective drivers as part of an employer pre-screening process without violation of their constitutional rights. The FMCSA attempts to prevent semi truck accidents by keeping track of the driving record of big rig operators with the Motor Carrier Management Information System. Employers may submit an inquiry to the system and receive a brief report of serious safety violations associated with the driver, three years of their inspection reports and five years of data on crashes they may have been involved in.
The court found that the privacy concerns were insufficient to overwhelm the clear need of the government to provide the information in service of safer roads. Indeed, the court pointed out that more information could be provided under their purview.
There are a variety of federal regulations that have been issued over the years with the intent to keep roads safe for all users. These include hours of service rules which attempt to ensure that drivers will not be overworked so that they become drowsy. People who have been injured in a truck accident may want to meet with an attorney to see if the incident resulted from a failure on the part of a driver or trucking company to comply with applicable rules.
Article Source Web Link: Overdrive Online, “Court rules PSP reports don’t violate driver privacy”, Jill Dunn, Nov. 3, 2016