Truck drivers in Florida may have to reveal their safety records to potential employers before being hired. Trucking companies that want information about an applicant’s safety record can access it using the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Pre-employment Screening Program. The PSP can be used to view the last few years of a driver’s crash data, safety inspections and safety violations.
The program was not specific about whether it could access only serious safety violations or serious and non-serious safety violations on a driver’s record. However, in October the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit that had been filed in this regard. In dismissing the case, the lower court had found that truck drivers’ privacy is not violated by the PSP if employers are provided information about truck drivers’ serious and non-serious safety violations. A non-serious safety violation is something like a speeding ticket or other traffic citation that does not result in a truck driver losing their commercial driver’s license.
Trucking companies are not required to use the PSP during the hiring process. They may still choose to hire truck drivers after learning that they have safety violations on their driving records.
Even a non-serious safety violation has the potential of causing a serious accident when a large commercial truck is involved. Many truck accidents are the result of traffic violations that were made by truck drivers who were sleep-deprived or impaired by alcohol. An attorney representing the occupant of another vehicle who has been injured in such an accident could assist in seeking compensation for medical bills and other losses.