Making sure driver history checks are complete

    PennDOT changes regulations to ensure that employers know when prospective drivers with fatal accidents in their past apply for a job.

    Prompted by a fatal school bus accident earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is implementing new rules regarding driver background checks. Accident histories will now include whether the accident resulted in a death, an injury, or simply property damage. They’ll also require employers to perform a life-long driver history check on those seeking commercial driving positions.

    The Montgomery County school bus driver who caused the February accident had been in another fatal crash eleven years earlier. But the incident didn’t appear on a background check before he was hired because checks only went back ten years. Even if it had come up, it wouldn’t have been listed as a fatal accident.

    Montgomery County State Representative Josh Shapiro called for the rule change following the accident. He says while it applies to all drivers, it’s especially important for anyone applying to transport children.

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    “We were really just trying to provide all of those facts to the school district and allow them to make choices that would ensure the safety and wellbeing of our children and grandchildren.”

    The new rule does not mandate that PennDOT release information about who was at fault in an accident. That information has to come from local police.

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