OOIDA files second complaint against FMCSA over safety records
May 24, 2013
GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. -- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has filed a second complaint against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) with regard to its safety records and the DataQ appeal process. OOIDA...
GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has filed a second complaint against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) with regard to its safety records and the DataQ appeal process.
OOIDA filed with the US District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on behalf of a member who received a citation for failing to stop at a weigh station while travelling through Montana. According to OOIDA, the member had missed the stop at first, but immediately turned around and went back. The member later had the ticket dismissed without prejudice by Montana courts. The ticket was removed from his motor vehicle record, but it still remains on records kept by FMCSA, which are made available to the public. OOIDA is seeking to prevent FMCSA from reporting that the truck driver violated the law and asking that the information be purged from his records.
“By refusing to accept the determination by a court, the FMCSA has in essence made state law enforcement agencies the final judge and jury on all citations,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA’s executive vice-president.
The data stored in the FMCSA’s safety records database is also utilized by the agency’s Pre-Employment Screening Program and the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) enforcement program. However, when a DataQ challenge is submitted by a driver to FMCSA, it is routed back to the state where the inspection report with the alleged violations originated. OOIDA officials say they believe this is the federal agency’s way of delegating the responsibility of keeping complete and correct data to the states.
“How can this system be considered to have any integrity if it is above the law of the land and purposely fails to be accurate?” Spencer asked. “It certainly can’t possibly make roads safer.”
The original suit, which is still pending, alleges the FMCSA fails to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, with the Privacy Act, and with mandates governing agency action contained in the previous highway bill, SAFETEA-LU. OOIDA alleges that FMCSA releases records of alleged safety violations to potential employers before drivers have had their day in court and that it refuses to delete references to such violations even after drivers have been exonerated in court.
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