A surprising number of people are killed each year as a result of tractor trailer accidents in Louisiana and across the nation. A portion of these accidents involve negligent truckers who are drugged or drunk while behind the wheel. As a way to decrease the number of truck drivers who risk the lives of others on the road, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is developing a Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Prior to this program, the trucking industry lacked a national database where information could be shared concerning truck drivers.
More specifically, the database will have information regarding truck driver’s alcohol and drug screenings, according to Commercial Carrier Journal. If a trucker fails a drug and/or alcohol test, refuses to submit to a test, is put on probation or has any other driving violations that data will be added to the clearinghouse. Other trucking companies will then be able to check the clearinghouse to ensure that an employee that they are hiring does not have any previous violations.
In addition to screening new truck drivers, companies will also be required to search the database for their current employees on an annual basis. The FMCSA reported that in one year, 4.89 percent of truck drivers, or 171,150 truckers, were taken off of the roads because they were found to have too many driving violations. While these big rig drivers continue to have driving violations for drunk and drugged driving, they are still allowed to get behind the wheel of a tractor trailer. Once the drug and alcohol clearinghouse is created, this number may drop and numerous lives may be saved.