In a February announcement on the Federal Register, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said it would improve the process for truckers and brokers to register complaints of misconduct against those they contract with.
FMCSA hopes to improve the ability of drivers to lodge grievances against “unsafe and unscrupulous companies and/or their employees, including shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries, depending on the type of complaint.”
Complaints can be registered with the National Consumer Complaint Database (NCCDB), which is currently undergoing an update to its interface.
“FMCSA is hopeful that the update to the interface will make it easier for system users to file complaints in the NCCDB. The update will also include the option for the system user to select broker allegations specific to property carriers when filing their complaint.”
These complaints could include, “driver harassment, coercion, movement of household goods, financial responsibility instruments for brokers and freight forwarders” as well as non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Electronic Logging Devices, training, medical reviews, and substance abuse, among others.
The changes were supplied in a Feb. 23 renewal of an information collection request that the agency will submit to the Office of Management and Budget for review and approval. Stakeholders have 30 days to comment.
Last year when the FMCSA asked for comments, they received only four, but one of them was submitted by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), who said, “As currently administered, the NCCDB is an inadequate outlet for drivers to report harassment, coercion, and other violations of commercial regulations.”
The comment, from OOIDA President Todd Spencer, went on to say, “Typically, drivers do not receive a satisfactory response level when they call the NCCDB hotline or submit their problem via the online portal. Additionally, there is insufficient follow-up with drivers after they file a complaint. The lack of response from FMCSA results in many unresolved complaints and discourages drivers from using the NCCDB to report unsafe practices.”
In response to these comments, FMCSA seeks to improve the effectiveness of the NCCDB by streamlining the process for review and follow-up on complaints submitted, identifying the top five complaint categories, and identifying the process for determining enforcement actions.