The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has requested approval from the White House Office of Management and Budget to conduct a survey seeking to document the prevalence, seriousness and nature of harassment and assaults against female and minority male truck drivers.

The notice was published in the Federal Register on Feb. 28, 2020. Public comments on this “Information Collection Request” are due at OMB by March 30, 2020. All comments should reference Federal Document Management System Docket Number FMCSA-2018-0278.

PrePass readers may recall an Aug. 21, 2019 the PrePass blog on an initial step FMCSA took toward conducting this survey. Now FMCSA says it has received both documentary and anecdotal evidence of discriminatory and hostile actions against female and minority male truck drivers.

FMCSA says it seeks to evaluate the breadth and frequency of harassment and violence so that it may develop materials and training to educate truckers, specifically minority and female drivers, on “how to protect themselves from being stalked, harassed, assaulted or robbed.” FMCSA may also reach out to truck driver training schools to incorporate such materials in their courses.

The agency says this information collection is necessary because female and minority drivers perceive they are more vulnerable. Also, by addressing that vulnerability, FMCSA can help alleviate the truck driver shortage by attracting more female and minority drivers and stemming their turnover.

FMCSA has contracted with the research firm Battelle to conduct the survey. A maximum of 440 females and 440 minority male truck drivers will included in the survey. Battelle will conduct both in-person and online information gathering, with approximately 160 of the surveys, equally divided, done in-person. Participants must have driven a truck professionally in the last two years. They will be asked if they have experienced race- or gender-related harassment or assault, where and when the incident occurred, information about the perpetrator and whether the crime was reported. For statistical control purposes, Battelle will cap the reports of actual crimes at 400 in each group but will include an additional 40 reports showing no harassment or assault.

All responses will be kept anonymous and will not include personally-identifiable information about the driver or the assailant. Survey participants, in-person or online, will be offered a $25 incentive to complete the information.