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FMCSA updates investigations into driver history

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is changing the types of questions featured on its safety performance inquiry. As of Jan. 2, 2023, Part 382 violations will not be a mandated question for carriers to ask about prospective employees, as reported by Trucking Info.

Part 382 of the Code of Federal Regulations detailing Transportation, Title 49, is concerned with testing employees for evidence of controlled substance or alcohol use.

“The purpose of this part is to establish programs designed to help prevent accidents and injuries resulting from the misuse of alcohol or use of controlled substances by drivers of commercial motor vehicles,” according to the FMCSA.

This change does not remove the need for carriers to perform safety history reviews. When looking to hire a driver, contact will have to be made with every former FMCSA employer from the driver’s last three years of work. This contact must confirm employment verification including dates they worked and vehicles they drove and any crashes in the last three years that are qualified by the DOT, accidents not qualified by the DOT are not mandated to be reported but will be inquired on.

Motor carriers should take certain steps before the change to driver investigation begins on Jan. 6 of the coming year. Everyone involved in the process of confirming the validity of a driver’s history should be updated on the changes, it should be confirmed service agents know what information is required to be conveyed under the new mandate, and it should be ascertained that all safety performance history forms are up to date.

Additionally, it must be kept in mind that although the process itself is changing, the importance of the information is not. Necessary action should be taken regarding what context is gathered about a driver’s history.