Most Americans are well-aware of the fact that drunk driving is both a prevalent hazard on U.S. roadways and that drunk driving crashes claim far too many lives annually, despite numerous public safety campaigns and laws that aim to keep individuals from drinking and driving. However, many Americans may not be aware that drunk, drugged and otherwise impaired driving is not just a problem among everyday drivers but it is also a problem among professional drivers.
In an effort to reduce the number of trucking accidents that are occurring annually due to drunk and otherwise impaired commercial drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will soon be formally proposing and seeking commentary on a rule that would establish a database which would track positive alcohol and drug tests among commercial drivers and would also track refusals to submit to required alcohol and drug testing.
This database would be accessible both by any given trucker’s current employer as well as prospective employers. The database is hopefully going to inspire truckers to avoid risking impaired driving on the job. It is also hopefully going to better ensure that required alcohol and drug testing takes place in commercial fleets all around the country.
Commercial trucks are inherently dangerous vehicles simply because they are so large and so heavy. Adding to that danger by driving while impaired is simply unacceptable. Hopefully this database will pass and will help to both prevent impaired commercial driving and will help to hold drivers who do operate their vehicles while impaired accountable for their decisions.
Source: Overdrive, “Driver database rule made official, FMCSA says publication coming soon,” James Jaillet, Feb. 12, 2014