As a motor carrier, it’s crucial you know how to manage inspection reports and violations. After all, the goal of every trucking business is to protect their CSA score. Therefore, if you wish to challenge a violation, you’ll want to submit a DataQ request.
In this article, we’ll explain the benefit of DataQ requests when it comes to inspections, accidents, and other driving violations. Also, we’ll share how to properly submit your request. Let’s begin.
What’s a DataQ Request?
A DataQ is an electronic system used by motor carriers to challenge citations and violations they receive. You’re pretty much putting in a request for the FMCSA to review and reconsider your violation. After all, these can negatively affect your CSA score which in turn drives your truck insurance costs up.
Did you know that California, North Carolina, and Texas are some of the toughest states when it comes to roadside inspections?
You may be asking, why would I challenge some of the data? Well, there are several reasons you should, such as:
- An event listed on your file (accident or roadside inspection) actually belongs to a different motor carrier
- Some of your data is missing online from your roadside inspection
- Your driver wasn’t given a report after an inspection
- An accident listed in your data system isn’t a DOT recordable crash
- An officer incorrectly listed something as a violation when it’s not
So, to successfully file a DataQ request there are certain steps you must follow.
How to Ensure Your DataQ Requests Are Successful
Complete Your Request Promptly
If you have an inaccurate violation listed on your file then you need to put in a DataQ request within two years of the incident. In fact, the sooner you get your request filed, the quicker the issue can be resolved.
Submit the Correct Information
If you want a favorable outcome then you must ensure the information you include is accurate. Unfortunately, state officials spend a lot of their time correcting errors during the early stages of the submission process. So, you’ll want to be clear, concise, and accurate with your request for review. Therefore, you should only include facts, not anyone’s opinion.
Do Your Research
There may be several regulations and guidelines specific to your case. With that in mind, you must conduct in-depth research and compare the facts of your case to the federal rules and regulations.
The more prepared you are, the better!
Make It Clear What You Want
When writing your DataQ request, be very clear about what you need in the review. If you don’t make it clear what your purpose and hopeful outcome are then the process may be prolonged or your request may get denied.
Add Necessary Documentation
You need to include any relevant documentation that’ll better help your case. If you don’t include any you hurt your chances of getting your request approved. To prevent that, you must include time-stamped photographs, maintenance receipts, your driver’s license, and/or vehicle registration documents.
Don’t Let Your Emotions Get the Best of You
You’re likely in a situation where it’s hard to stay calm and collected. However, you need to leave your emotions out of it. Therefore, you need to be respectful and only include a factual depiction of what happened. What you don’t want to do is act like the whole situation is the DOT officer’s fault.
So, if you want to get your DataQ request approved, you need to include documentation, accurate information, and facts. You should also challenge a violation within two years of receiving it. Within 10 days of submitting your request, you should receive your feedback. You should also know you do have the right to appeal their decision if you would like.