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FMCSA strike force targets driver drug test records

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.

The Associated Press

6/25/2012

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Monday that 287 commercial bus and truck drivers were removed from the roads and more than 128 companies face enforcement actions as a result of the agency’s recent drug and alcohol strike force sweep. The annual sweep ran from April 30 through May 11.

“Our message is clear: We will not allow commercial bus and truck drivers operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol to stay on the road,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “All drivers and their passengers deserve to be confident that bus and truck drivers are safe and sober.”

During the two-week sweep, nearly 200 federal 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.

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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.

“Removing these dangerous drivers from the roads helps save lives and sends a strong signal that we will not tolerate negligent commercial drivers and companies that violate federal alcohol and drug safety standards,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro.

The 287 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, 128 truck and bus companies 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, DOT added.

Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at kevinj@thetrucker.com.

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