Commercial carriers and truck drivers conducted 380,000 pre-employment driver safety record searches during the first year of a new, secure online search program, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood reported this week.

The department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched its Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) in May 2010 to give employers access to drivers’ inspection and crash records as part of the hiring process.

“PSP will help make our roads safer for everyone,” said LaHood.

During its first year, 353,929 users visited the PSP website at psp.fmcsa.dot.gov and PSP customer service responded to over 19,000 calls. Outreach by FMCSA staffers who promoted PSP at conferences and association meetings throughout the country helped raise the program’s profile. PSP was selected as a 2011 Government Customer Support Excellence Awards finalist.

"These results show that carriers welcome PSP as an essential tool for making informed hiring decisions that lead to safer drivers on our roads," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “We know that the majority of our nation’s carriers and drivers strive to operate as safely as possible. PSP makes their jobs a lot easier.”

PSP provides access for up to five years of driver crash data and three years of inspection data, which includes serious safety violations in the areas of unsafe driving, hours-of-service, controlled substances and alcohol, and valid medical qualifications. It also gives users access to co-driver safety records, post-crash violations and the dates that drivers’ records are updated.

PSP also provides drivers additional opportunities to verify the data in their driving history and correct any discrepancies. Drivers’ records will be protected in accordance with federal privacy laws.

The PSP data is updated monthly by FMCSA's Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). The MCMIS is comprised of driver performance data including inspection and compliance review results, enforcement data, state-reported crashes, and motor carrier census data.