OOIDA sues agency over violation appeals process

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s is once again suing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration over the agency’s driver records and its DataQs appeals process — the second lawsuit OOIDA has brought dealing with DataQs.

FMCSA’s safety records are used by the agency’s Pre-Employment Screening Program and its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. DataQs is the system drivers use to appeal any violations they feel have been wrongly counted against them. When a driver submits a DataQ challenge, it is returned to the state where the alleged violations originated.

OOIDA filed its most recent petition for review May 10 in the U.S. District of Columbia appeals court. OOIDA filed on behalf of OOIDA member Fred Weaver, who Montana authorities cited for not stopping at a weigh station.

Weaver missed the stop, but immediately turned around and went to the weigh station. A Montana court dismissed that ticket without prejudice and state officials removed it from his motor vehicle record.

Last March, FMCSA officials denied Weaver’s and the association’s request to purge the incident from its Motor Carrier Management Information System database. OOIDA has asked the court to require the agency to remove the alleged violation from its records.

FMCSA Spokesman Duane DeBruyne declined comment, citing agency policy of not commenting on litigation.

The court set motions deadlines through June 27, but has not yet scheduled oral arguments.

Last July, OOIDA filed its first case over the integrity of the FMCSA’s driver data and the agency’s dispute resolution. It alleged the agency is not in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Privacy Act and the 2005 highway appropriations law.

The association stated the FMCSA released records of alleged violations to potential employers before drivers had their day in court and refused to delete violations, even if a court exonerates them.

That case, filed in the same court, is still pending.

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