The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the federal agency that is most directly tasked with the regulation and safety-related oversight of the millions of commercial motor vehicles that crisscross the nation’s roadways each and every day. As a result, its actions and authority tend to carry a lot of weight with the commercial trucking industry.
For example, the FMCSA runs a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse that serves as a database for both government actors and employers alike. This platform allows those who have authorization to access information about a commercial driver’s history of violating driving-related drug and alcohol requirements.
Recently, the FMCSA acted to close a loophole in the operation of its clearinghouse. By making this effort, the agency has now accounted for violations that occur during gaps in the reporting process. Previously, the timing of certain violations had allowed them to slip through the cracks of the reporting system, rendering prospective employers unaware of a driver’s recent misconduct.
The implications of this shift
Naturally, this shift in policy will result in greater transparency for the benefit of employers in the wake of recent misconduct that would have previously gone unnoticed. Hopefully, this will lead to fewer accidents at the hands of drivers who are struggling with substance issues that are not yet being effectively managed.
Additionally, it is worth noting that this policy shift serves as an illustration of the reality that the nuances of trucking-related laws and the operations of the trucking industry are constantly evolving. As a result, those who have recently been injured in a trucking accident can benefit from speaking with a legal professional who stays informed about the evolution of this area of law in order to better ensure that they benefit from a nuanced and current approach to legal representation.