trainers and state testers are reviewing millions of records, looking for
possible links between truckers and terrorism. The search started in the days
following the Sept. 11 attacks, as federal officials assessed the potential
for converting trucks into weapons of mass destruction.
The issue has garnered
national attention since the FBI started checking student records earlier
this month at a Colorado truckdriver training school, where 25-35 Arab men
reportedly took the course. Trucking schools and third-party testers are of
particular concern because anyone could learn how to drive a semi with no
intention of getting a license or a driving job.
North Carolina has more
than 200 third-party testers, including nine truckdriver schools, The Charlotte
Observer reported. South Carolina has 167 third-party testers, 15 of them
The North Carolina Division
of Motor Vehicles last month turned over a list to the FBI of all commercial
drivers licensed to carry hazardous materials. The state has about 300,000
licensed truckers, 76,000 of them with hazmat authorization.
The FBI hasn't asked
the South Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles for a list of truckers with
hazmat licenses, according to the newspaper. The state has more than 130,000
South Carolina asked
all its third-party testers to review records since 1999, looking for links
to more than 30 countries with ties to terrorism. The FBI also asked testers
to check potential students and employees more closely.