Tech targets unsafe drivers

Technology is being put to work to stop unsafe commercial drivers from registering for licenses in multiple states.

AAMVAnet Inc. (www.aamva.org/aamvanet), the technical subsidiary of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, is working with Electronic Data Systems Corp. on a system to help keep unsafe drivers off the road.

Under a $5 million deal, EDS is supporting AAMVAnet's Commercial Driver License Information System. The CDLIS tracks the nation's 10 million commercial drivers.

Previously, commercial drivers could skirt safety laws and hide bad driving records by having multiple licenses issued unknowingly by different states.

"The information on commercial drivers was housed in a central repository, but it was a database that was being distributed and accessed differently by all the 50 states," said Phil Hartley, client delivery executive at EDS. "Now it's all linked in a uniform way that allows the states' DMVs to better share information."

Kevin O'Brien, director of driver safety at the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, says that previously, it took a lot of time to process the immense amount of paperwork after a commercial driver received an infraction.

"Between ticketing from law enforcement, to the courts for processing, and then to the DMVs, and then back to law enforcement — there simply wasn't enough time to do all that before the driver could register for another license in a different state," O'Brien said.

But that's much less likely with functions such as real-time "e-ticketing' and complex name-search algorithms.

AAMVAnet also is assessing the feasibility of expanding the CDLIS program to include the approximately 200 million noncommercial drivers in the United States.

"We're looking at that in the sense of what we're going to need to use in the future," Hartley says.

The latest contract between EDS and AAMVAnet is a three-year extension of a relationship that dates to 1988.

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