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10/15/2008 12:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

FMCSA Finalizes Driver Tracking Plan, Aims to Launch Safety Analysis in 2010

By Jonathan S. Reiskin, Associate News Editor

This story appears in the Oct. 13 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

NEW ORLEANS — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is in the final stages of preparing its Driver Information Resource for use by trucking companies, an agency official said here.

FMCSA also is planning to implement its Comprehensive Safety Analysis program in 2010 to supplement the current Compliance Review process, said Michael Griffith, director of the agency’s Office of Analysis, Research and Development. He spoke to members of American Trucking Associations Oct. 5 during ATA’s Management Conference & Exhibition.

The educational session on driver screening also featured advice from a manager of USIS Commercial Services on how it, or similar services, can benefit carriers engaged in hiring drivers.

“With DIR, we can track drivers across companies,” Griffith said. He noted that the plan is under final legal review, after which the data will be made available online.

The database will include crash reports, out-of-service judgments and inspection results for drivers, he said.

Driver screening is critical, said Kent Ferguson of USIS, in part because of government requirements, but also because of civil liability. He said a thorough driver screening can help reduce accident rates, cargo theft, insurance premiums and driver turnover.

“You can’t afford not to have a robust driver screening program,” said Ferguson, who manages verification products for USIS.

Griffith said the DIR database will be made available through a third party in the private sector that has not yet been selected. Griffith said a contract will be put out to bid to companies such as USIS/DAC (Drive-A-Check Services).

Not only will a carrier have to pay the third-party provider for a report, but the trucking company also will have to obtain driver consent for release of the information. Griffith said that if they ask for it, drivers will have access to the data to check its accuracy.

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