OOIDA Files Second Lawsuit Against FMCSA Over Safety Records

May 24, 2013

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What happens when a violation is thrown out in court?
What happens when a violation is thrown out in court?

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has filed a second complaint with the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding its safety records and the DataQ appeal process.

The group says it was filed on behalf of a member who received a citation for failing to stop at a weigh station while traveling through Montana. He had missed the stop at first, but immediately turned around and went back. He 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. The association 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 executive vice president.

OOIDA says data stored in the FMCSA’s safety records database is also used by the agency’s Pre-Employment Screening Program and the Compliance Safety Accountability enforcement program, known as CSA. 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. It believes this is the agency’s way of delegating the responsibility of keeping complete and correct data to the states.

The original suit, filed about a year ago on behalf of three drivers, alleges the agency 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. 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.

Last August OOIDA applauded moves announced by the FMCSA that it would make changes to CSA, but said they did not go far enough.


  1. 1. garybary [ May 28, 2013 @ 05:55AM ]

    Another example of the FMCSA's attitude that everyone in the industry is a criminal or, at the very least, a future criminal. These little "gotcha" tickets make their enforcement numbers look good while smearing the reputations of thousands of honest and hardworking drivers. It's an agency run amok. Congress lacks the guts to clip their wings so the courts look like the only avenue to address their outlandish behavior. Kudos to OOIDA.

  2. 2. [email protected] [ May 28, 2013 @ 06:40AM ]

    I can't believe that this is just now being recognized as a problem. It was stated in earliest sessions that if awarded one of these fine upstanding prizes, if upon being exonerated in a court it would still be up to the ISSUING OFFICER TO REMOVE IT FROM CSA. GO FIGURE!!!

  3. 3. Rickie Guillory [ May 28, 2013 @ 09:36AM ]

    This is what happens when the governmant gets to big and to many regulations that they cant even keep up with them thereselfs.

  4. 4. BarbRRB [ May 29, 2013 @ 11:35AM ]

    FMCSA is way to arrogant! Looks like someone needs to step back and do the right thing, resign from their position.

  5. 5. skip kealey [ June 02, 2013 @ 03:32PM ]

    I got a speeding ticket in ind. just a few weeks ago. and before it went to court it was on my csa. and didn't even go to court on it. where is this country going. and good thing I told my new employer. cause he asked me about it. and I was honest and he and the ins comp. hired me. I don't know how they can do that. so like someone else said were a criminal before fd guilty. or guilty before guilty. im gonna fight it. cause they also write tickets up. because they don't think well show up up. and sometimes yes the comp says your in trouble. so there part of the prolb to. come on drivers lets show them. now im not saying there r bad drivers. cause there our. and ill tell you to im sick of going in the truckstops and ppl saying o its the new drivers doing this to us. I don't believe that for a min. ive been out here 14 yrs and yes im guilty of running with illegal logs. how many more will admit it. all it is. is our rights being taken. no republican or demacrat. its us lets show congress I wrote letters to my us sen and tlked to him in person. not that he knew what I was talking about. and guys saying shut the trucks down they wont do it again. to many comp out here there just go steal the guy down the rd. everyone have a goodday. and truck safe and contact the ppl of the us reps. thank you so for a long session just had to let some smoke out.


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