The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new clearinghouse rule officially went into effect on January 6th, 2020. The clearinghouse is intended to be a secure online database in which FMCSA, CMV employers, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and law enforcement officials can identify CDL drivers who have violated federal drug and alcohol testing program requirements.

As with any new law or rule, there has been some confusion around the new clearinghouse. While it may take some time for people to get fully comfortable adhering to the new guidelines there are a few misunderstandings that can be addressed immediately. Here are 3 recurring misunderstandings that people have about the new FMCSA clearinghouse.

It Isn’t Only for CMV Drivers and Employers

While all employers of CMV operators are now required by the United States Department of Transportation to report drug and alcohol violations, that doesn’t mean the new clearinghouse is intended exclusively for those people. The new clearinghouse rule will have an impact on professionals in a number of industries, including but not limited to:

  • Medical Review Officers
  • Substance Abuse Professionals
  • Law Enforcement
  • Other CMV Related Professions

All the professionals listed above will be either directly or indirectly impacted by the new rule. Whether its medical review officers supporting covered employers as well as individual drivers, or substance abuse professionals reporting drivers’ compliance with the return-to-duty process of drivers attempting to get back on the road, a working knowledge of the new rule is essential.

It’s Designed to Keep Everyone Safe

While the clearinghouse may feel like some sort of punishment for CMV operators, its ultimate intention is to keep all drivers safe. The new rule will benefit drivers who don’t commit violations, while still offering those who have committed violations a path towards returning to the road.

Every CMV operator and employer has to be in favor of making highways safer. No one wants to see people get hurt, and whatever step that can be made to reduce roadway fatalities is a step worth taking. The clearinghouse is simply a way to ensure that drivers who commit violations don’t put others at risk.

There are Tools to Help you Comply

One common misunderstanding is people thinking that they are on their own in regards to researching, learning, and adhering to the new rule. While doing research individually will certainly help, it may take assistance from experts on the subject in order for CMV and other professionals to properly comply with the new rule.

 

 

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