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FMCSA Proposes New Rule Regarding Trucking Industry

The federal government puts very strict regulations on commercial truckers when it comes to alcohol and drugs. Failures by truckers to follow such rules can make the roads a very dangerous place.

Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a regulatory proposal aimed at making it easier for trucking companies to determine if a potential hire for a safety-sensitive position, such as a commercial vehicle operation position, has committed past violations of the FMCSA drug and alcohol regulations regarding commercial truckers.

The proposal, if enacted, would create a repository containing information such as which commercial truck drivers have tested positive on drug/alcohol tests and which truckers have refused drug/alcohol tests. Under the proposed rule, truck companies would be required to conduct searches of this repository in relation to new hires for safety-sensitive positions and annual searches of the repository in relation to their current employees that hold safety-sensitive positions.

Under the proposal, in order to conduct a repository search in regards to a given commercial truck driver, a truck company would be required to get the trucker's permission. If a trucker refuses to give such permission, the company would be unable to employ the trucker in a safety-sensitive position.

What are your thoughts on this proposal by the FMCSA? Do you think the agency should enact this proposed rule? Do you think the proposal would help keep truckers that engage in drug or alcohol abuse out from behind the wheel of commercial vehicles?

Failures by truck drivers or truck companies to comply with FMCSA alcohol/drug regulations sometimes result in innocent motorists getting hurt. Motorists who have been injured in truck accidents caused by such regulation violations may be able to take legal action against the perpetrators of the violations.