Tougher Rules Considered for Trucking Industry

Washington, D.C. -- Responding to several Senators' pleas to consider strengthening rules for the trucking industry, both Congress and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said that they will consider revising current rules.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, requested that background checks for truckers be required from now on, while Joan Clayton, former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), said that current procedures make it too easy to get a license to transport materials such as hazardous waste.

Rules under consideration include adding fingerprinted images to commercial drivers' licenses (CDLs) to make them more difficult to reproduce, according to the FMCSA.

The U.S. Department of Transportation also has proposed legislation to give agency officials more authority to inspect materials being transported, and increase the penalty for violating hazardous materials regulations from $27,500 to $100,000.

Additionally, American Trucking Association (ATA) chairman Duane Acklie recently testified before the Senate Transportation and Merchant Marine Subcommittee, recommending that Congress pass legislation giving motor carriers the power to search law enforcement databases to conduct more efficient background checks.