Reminder - FMCSA Clearinghouse Mandatory Registration Deadline is January 6th

Posted by Matt Manoli on Nov 19, 2019 12:30:25 PM

Drug Testing

The FMCSA Clearinghouse deadline is January 6th, 2020, which believe it or not, is only a few weeks away. While CDL drivers do not technically need to register immediately, they will need to do so for mandatory employer pre-employment inquiries so it's better to just get it out of the way now.

The clearinghouse will be a comprehensive database with information on CDL holders' drug or alcohol violations, as well as information on whether that driver has completed required rehabilitation in order to return to work legally. The requirements are applied to ALL CDL drivers, from school bus drivers to interstate truckers. Violations will include any positive drug or alcohol test, DUI conviction, refusal to submit to testing, or acknowledgement of a substance abuse issue. 

Employers, medical review officers and third party administrators will be legally required to report drug or alcohol violations to the database. Employers will also be required to query the database to confirm new hires are eligible to work (no violations, or have completed required rehabilitation) and will also need to annually query to make sure current employees remain eligible to be a commercial driver. State licensing agencies (like the MA RMV) will also be required to query the system when reissuing CDL licenses. 

The goal of the database implementation is to ensure that CDL holders who have drug or alcohol violations are removed from the road until they have fulfilled steps to show they are a safe operator again.

This past summer the State of Massachusetts had an extremely tragic example of what can happen when CDL license holders are not properly vetted by licensing agencies and/or employers in regard to their drug or alcohol violations when a multiple violator killed 7 motorcyclists in New Hampshire while under the influence. Comprehensive, multi-agency efforts like the FMCSA Clearinghouse are put in place to make sure the proper checks are in place to get unsafe drivers off the road, and try to reduce the likelihood another incident like the one in New Hampshire happens again.     

 

The DOT has a great powerpoint presentation that runs through some of the major points regarding the Clearinghouse that you can access here: Final Rule: Commercial Driver's License Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

You can also access the full rule text here: Commercial Driver's Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

 

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Topics: Safety, CDL Regulations Massachusetts, Driver Safety, fmcsa

CDL questions in Massachusetts & Social Medias role in hiring drivers

Posted by Matt Manoli on Mar 1, 2012 9:54:00 AM

The crash on route 79 in Fall River last Sunday has raised a lot of questions about how CDL licenses are obtained in Massachusetts, and how companies can go about hiring safe, qualified CDL drivers to avoid catastrophes like we saw in Fall River. The driver of the truck involved had several violations on his driving record, as well as a drug distribution charge that temporarily suspended his license in the past. Obviously, certain types of violations ought to carry more weight than others, but incidents like this crash serve to highlight issues surrounding safety policy, and the importance of taking an overall assessment of a candidate for a drivers position. 

As I discuss in the article in the Taunton Gazette last week, most companies now do background checks on potential drivers, beyond the anticipated driving record check. At Dennis K Burke, we look at a candidates 10 year driving history for any infractions that would indicate habitual unsafe driving. Its also important to check references listed on applications, for any position, but especially a CDL driver. Any gaps in employment should be evaluated as well, to ensure a gap in work history was not due to a suspension or infraction as was the case with the driver involved in the Fall River accident.

(You can Read the Story in the Taunton Gazette here - it does a really great job explaining a lot of the rules and regulations related to CDLs in Massachusetts)

A new approach we also use, in keeping up with the changing ways people share and interact now is checking social media. Generally, social media accounts are harmless, fun ways for people to stay in touch but on occassion they can raise a red flag, much the way they would for a prospective university, job, etc. Its easy to overlook social media as a valuable tool to learn more about an applicant, but I think doing so is a mistake. People live their lives online now, for better or for worse, and by skipping out on social media, you skip out on an easy avenue to get a general feel for who someone is and how they will fit with your organization. Its free, it takes 5 minutes - why not give it a shot?

Speaking of Social Media - you can follow us at @DennisKBurkeInc on Twitter, or http://www.facebook.com/DennisKBurkeInc  - We'd love to hear your feedback, comments and insights!



 

 

 

 

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Topics: Safety, CDL Regulations Massachusetts, Taunton Gazette, Social Media and Job Applicants