| November 01, 2009

Currently federal and state law enforcement personnel have access to commercial driver safety records, and drivers can obtain the information through the Freedom of Information Act.

After the DPES is triggered, driver safety records will be made available to motor carriers regardless of state or jurisdiction. Under federal privacy laws, drivers must give written consent for their records to be released, as they do for DAC reports.

DPES will allow more carriers to have more information to assess a prospective driver, FMCSA says. Drivers will have additional opportunities to verify their driving history data and to correct discrepancies.

DPES will make use of FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System. MCMIS data includes roadside inspection and compliance review results, enforcement data, state-reported crashes and motor carrier census data.

HireRight still offers information that will not be provided in the new program, says HireRight’s Kent Ferguson. HireRight provides employment motor vehicle reports from 50 states, criminal record checks on a county and state level and a proprietary database of 3,000companies on employment history.

FMCSA has awarded NIC Technologies a one-year contract for DPES, with four, single-year renewals, NIC said. Users will probably pay an annual $100 subscription fee and a $10 transaction fee for each record pulled.


Short Hauls

JORGE OROZCO-SANCHEZ is one of 20 individuals from the United States and Canada chosen to receive the Carnegie Medal. The medal is given to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. Orozco-Sanchez was Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s 2008 Highway Hero.

A TRUCKER MOVIE released last month earned the approval of some movie critics, including some pre-Oscar chatter for Michelle Monaghan for her leading role in Trucker. The movie follows the struggles of mother and son as they are stuck with each other while the boy’s father, played by Benjamin Bratt, is in the hospital.

A SENATE transportation bill includes a pilot program to exempt Maine’s Interstate highway system from the current federal truck weight limit. Currently, trucks weighing up to 100,000 pounds can use Interstate 95, designated as the Maine Turnpike and running from the Maine-New Hampshire border to Augusta, Maine. These trucks are also permitted on Interstate highways in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec. Because the Maine Turnpike designation ends at Augusta and I-95 proceeds another 200 miles north to Houlton, heavy truck drivers are forced onto secondary roads.

U.S. House of Representatives transportation leaders have countered calls for an 18-month extension of the highway program reauthorization with a bill (H.R. 3617) that keeps the program going only until year-end.

The House voted to extend the authorization for highway-related programs – including motor carrier safety – for three months beyond its Sept. 30 expiration.

Legislation (S. 1496) that would extend the authorization for FMCSA programs for 18 months is pending in the

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