New FMCSA rule bans for life drivers convicted of human trafficking

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A new FMCSA final rule permanently bans drivers convicted of human trafficking from operating a commercial motor vehicle for which a commercial driver’s license or a commercial learner’s permit is required. (©2019 FOTOSEARCH)

WASHINGTON — Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Tuesday released a final rule that permanently bans drivers convicted of human trafficking from operating a commercial motor vehicle for which a commercial driver’s license or a commercial learner’s permit is required.

“This is an important step in the Department-wide campaign to keep America’s roadways, railways, airways, and waterways from being used for human trafficking,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Following President Donald Trump’s signature of the “No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act,” the FMCSA has issued this new rule to prohibit an individual from operating a CMV for life if that individual uses a CMV in committing a felony involving a severe form of human trafficking.

The new rule revises the list of offenses permanently disqualifying individuals from operating a CMV for which a commercial driver’s license or a commercial learner’s permit is required.

“The commercial motor vehicle industry is uniquely positioned to help detect and report human trafficking, and thankfully professional drivers’ efforts often bring an end to these tragic situations. Sadly, however, some human trafficking activities are facilitated by the use of commercial trucks or buses,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez. “By enforcing a lifetime ban on any CMV driver convicted of severe human trafficking, we aim to deliver a strong and effective deterrent to this abhorrent behavior. If a commercial driver is convicted of using their commercial motor vehicle related to human trafficking—that person will never be driving interstate commercial vehicles again.”

Deterring human trafficking in America’s commercial transportation industry is just one step in the Trump administration’s commitment to fighting against these abhorrent crimes. President Trump has brought to bear the full resources of the federal government to working against human trafficking, protecting victims and prosecuting traffickers, Martinez said.

On July 2, the Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking submitted its final report to the department providing recommendations on actions the Department can take to help combat human trafficking, and recommended best practices for states and local transportation stakeholders in combatting human trafficking.

In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security identified over 500 victims of human trafficking and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimated 1 out of every 7 runaways were likely victims of child sex trafficking.

To report human trafficking activity, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline by dialing toll-free 1-888-373-7888 or by sending a text to 233733.

The Federal Register Notice is available here.

Learn more about the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to combat human trafficking by visiting https://www.transportation.gov/stophumantrafficking.

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