Committee holds hazmat drivers to criminal background checks
Apr 22, 2002 12:00 PM
The Senate Commerce Committee has denied action that would have required all commercial drivers to undergo criminal background checks before receiving commercial driver licenses. The National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) had supported the amendment after the USA Patriot Act required all drivers who haul hazardous materials to undergo the checks.
Cliff Harvison, president of NTTC, briefed members of the association's Safety Council April 18 at its meeting in Las Vegas NV. Harvison said that the tank truck industry fears it will lose drivers to companies that do not haul hazardous materials. He also noted that federal criminal data is based on fingerprints rather than names, another element likely to discourage drivers who would have to provide further identification.
Another industry-related association, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA), notes that states would be barred from issuing, renewing, upgrading, or transferring a hazardous materials endorsement for a commercial driver's license unless the Secretary of Transportation has determined the person poses no security risk. Hazardous materials endorsements would be denied to those found guilty of certain criminal offenses or those denied admission to the United States or removed from the country under US immigration law.
Each state would have to implement a program under which a background records check is requested whenever a CDL with a hazardous materials endorsement is to be issued, renewed, upgraded, or transferred; and periodically (as prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation by regulations) for all other individuals holding a CDL with a hazardous materials endorsement.
Under the legislation, an appeals process will be available for those found to be ineligible for a hazardous materials endorsement for a CDL.
PMAA has worked closely with members of Congress to make sure CDL restrictions are reasonable and PMAA will continue to carefully monitor this legislation.