Drug, alcohol strike force nets more than 100 bus, truck drivers

| 8/19/2010

An early summer “strike force” targeting drug and alcohol violations by bus and truck drivers resulted in 109 drivers being removed from the road.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s annual drug and alcohol strike force sweep took place June 21 through July 2.

FMCSA confirmed to Land Line that of the 109 drivers FMCSA officials took off the road, 100 were truck drivers. Of the 100 drivers, 16 had hazmat endorsements with four of those drivers operating a hazmat vehicle at the time of the crackdown.

The strike force also took 12 drivers with passenger endorsements off the road; eight were driving a bus at the time of the enforcement.

“If you are a commercial driver or carrier operating in violation of federal drug and alcohol laws, we will remove you from our roadways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Parents deserve to know their children are being driven by bus drivers who are drug and alcohol free, and every motorist deserves to feel confident that the drivers of large trucks and buses are safe and sober.”

During the two week sweep, FMCSA strike force investigators examined the drug and alcohol safety records of commercial drivers employed by bus and truck companies, including school bus drivers, interstate passenger carriers, hazardous material transporters and general freight long-haul trucking companies.

Their goals were to identify motor carriers in violation of federal drug and alcohol testing requirements and to remove from the road commercial truck and bus drivers who jump from carrier to carrier to evade federal drug and alcohol testing and reporting requirements.

“FMCSA is committed to ensuring that only safe commercial drivers and carriers are allowed to operate,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Our annual drug and alcohol strike force is just one of the ways we weed out those ‘bad actors’ and make our roads safer for everyone.”

The 109 commercial drivers identified in the sweep face the prospect of a monetary fine and being barred from operating a commercial motor vehicle for failing to adhere to federal drug and alcohol regulations.

Additionally, 175 commercial carriers face pending enforcement actions for violations, such as using a driver who has tested positive for illegal drugs and for not instituting a drug and alcohol testing program. Both drivers and carriers will have an opportunity to contest the alleged violations and the amount of the civil penalties.