Background checks threaten driver pool
May 10, 2005 3:59 PM
Estimates of losses in the hazmat driver workforce can vary from two percent to 20 percent as a result of new regulations for driver fingerprinting and other background checks, according to information presented at the National Tank truck Carriers (NTTC) annual Conference and Tank Truck Equipment Show. But the situation indicates that whatever the final result, the hazmat driver pool will suffer.
Doug Bacon of Integrated Biometric Technology (IBT) predicted fewer drivers would lose the hazmat certification while Richard Moskowitz of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) forecast a worsening problem for the already over-stretched workforce. They made the comments at the NTTC meeting May 9-11 in Chicago IL.
Bacon said he anticipates an increase in hazmat driver pay will result in the pool growing despite the requirements of the new regulation. He also pointed out that background checks are a boon to carriers because they can ferret out unqualified driver records that the company otherwise might not know about.
Moskowitz said ATA has moved its focus from litigation efforts to trying to influence legislation that can help ease carriers' plight. ATA is arguing that fingerprinting is ineffective in uncovering potential terrorists and the background check fee of $94 is "ridiculously" expensive. Licensing centers are inconveniently located, many states do not retain the fingerprints, there are extensive delays, and not all states recognize certification from other states, he added.
For more information on the issue and for full coverage of the NTTC meeting, see the July issue of Bulk Transporter.
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