OOIDA challenges FMCSA's DataQs again

Wednesday, May 29 2013 admin

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) driver records and DataQs appeals process is being challenged for the second time with another law suit filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).

The FMCSA’s DataQs system is a process that allows drivers to appeal any violations that they feel were received in error. The driver can enter a DataQ challenge, which is then returned to the state where the violation in question was issued. Drivers are especially concerned about violations that they perceive as unwarranted, because the FMCSA’s safety records are used by the agency’s Pre-Employment Screening and Compliance, Safety, Accountability programs.

OOIDA’s current petition was filed on May 10th in the U.S. District of Columbia appeals court. OOIDA member Fred Weaver received what he and the association believe to be an unfair violation citation. Montana authorities had cited him for failure to stop at a weigh station. Weaver did indeed miss the stop but immediately turned around and went back to the weigh station.

A Montana court subsequently dismissed the ticket without prejudice, and the citation has been removed from his motor vehicle record in Montana. The FMCSA, however, has denied the request from Weaver and OOIDA to remove the incident from its own Motor Carrier Management Information System database. OOIDA is asking the Court to make the removal of the alleged violation from the FMCSA’s records a requirement.

In its previous law suit against the FMCSA and its driver data and dispute resolution system, OOIDA said the agency’s policies are non-compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Privacy Act, and the 2005 highway appropriations law. OOIDA says records of alleged violations were released by the FMCSA to possible employers before drivers had a chance to defend against possible wrongful citations. The association also says that the FMCSA refuses to delete violations, even after the Court exonerates them. The case is still pending.

It is the FMCSA’s policy not to comment on pending litigation.

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