Slap on wrist doesn't ensure safety

Posted on August 19, 2010 by Alex Roman - Also by this author

This week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) annual drug and alcohol strike force sweep, which ran from June 21 through July 2, resulted in the removal of 109 commercial bus and truck drivers.

During the two-week sweep, FMCSA investigators examined the drug and alcohol safety records of commercial drivers employed by bus and truck companies, with an end-goal to identify motor carriers in violation of federal drug and alcohol testing requirements, as well as to remove those drivers who jump from carrier to carrier to evade federal drug and alcohol testing and reporting requirements from the road.

The 109 drivers removed from the road face a monetary fine for not adhering to the rules, but is that enough? With the federal government stepping up the enforcement of its rules, especially when it pertains to rogue operators and distracted driving, shouldn't there be a clampdown on drivers who attempt to skirt the law when it comes to testing?

On the surface, the monetary fine seems like a simple slap on the wrist, which is a shame when you consider the work being put in to ensure the safety of all those on the road.


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