The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has formed its first-ever national drug and alcohol strike force, removing 77 commercial bus and truck drivers from service and bringing enforcement action against 84 motor carriers.
During the period of Sept. 8-18, FMCSA safety investigators looked at previous drug and alcohol records of commercial drivers employed by bus companies including interstate passenger carriers, school bus drivers, hazardous material transporters and general long-haul freight trucking companies.
“Violators of our drug and alcohol policies have no business driving a commercial vehicle. Programs like the drug and alcohol strike force are helping remove the most dangerous offenders from our roadways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The 77 drivers who are now facing the possibility of civil penalties for breaking federal drug and alcohol regulations can no longer work operating commercial motor vehicles and will most likely be forced to pay a fine. The carriers involved are facing enforcement action for allowing drivers to work despite violations and failing to institute drug and alcohol testing programs.
The FMCSA says that the overall goals of the program were to identify motor carriers in violation of federal requirements and to identify drivers who move from company to company to evade federal drug and alcohol testing requirements. Both the drivers and carriers implicated by the task force will have the opportunity to contest the alleged violations and the extent of their penalties