Bills propose background checks for hazmat drivers

| Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Two bills requiring background checks for drivers of hazardous materials have been proposed by lawmakers in the U.S. Senate. Both bills have been referred to the Senate's Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is proposing a bill (S1557) that prohibits motor carriers from allowing drivers to operate a motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials unless a background check is performed on the driver. The background check would include a submittal of fingerprints and photograph; review and comparison of law enforcement databases, intelligence databases and criminal records; and a review of Immigration and Naturalization Service records.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is proposing a similar bill to regulate the issuance or renewal of licenses to operate motor vehicles transporting hazardous materials. S1569 requires the Secretary of Transportation to first determine, upon receipt of notification, the individual does not pose a security risk. Background checks to review criminal history databases, through Interpol-U.S. National Central Bureau international databases, and databases to determine the status of non-U.S. citizens under the immigration laws are required.

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