2016 to see new drug and alcohol database for truckers

The government is aiming to improve safety on the roads for all residents in Tennessee with a database to curb impaired driving among commercial drivers.

People who live in Nashville, Tennessee are logically concerned about safety on the roads, especially when it comes to sharing those roads with very large vehicles such as buses or 18-wheelers. The nature of injuries that can result when involved in an accident with a commercial truck or other large automobile can be extremely serious and even fatal.

Of equal concern is the risk of accidents involving drunk drivers or drugged drivers. People who operate any vehicle while under the influence pose exceptional risk to innocent victims. Put together, the risks of truckers who choose to operate their vehicles when impaired should be of great concern to all and is definitely of concern to the federal government.

How is the government responding to this risk?

It is this combined risk that prompted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to pursue the development of what is referred to as the Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rule. The goal of the rule is to develop a database that will be the repository for records of commercial drivers pertaining to drug and alcohol use.

How will it work?

The Commercial Carrier Journal provided a report of how the database is expected to improve safety on the roads. Following are some of the parameters of the database and how it will be used:

  • Before being hired for new driving positions, drivers must provide written approval for potential employers to review their records via the database.
  • The records must be reviewed before new employment can be granted and annual reviews must be conducted thereafter. The pre-employment screening will be more in-depth than the subsequent annual screens.
  • Before being hired for new driving positions, drivers must pass substance testing. Any driver who opts out of the testing will not be eligible to hold a driving position.
  • Any failure of a substance test or refusal to participate in a substance test must be reported to the database.

Owner-operators will be required to utilize third party vendors for the required reviews of records.

The problem is real

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration highlight a dramatic increase in the number of vehicular fatalities in truck accidents involving alcohol between 2011 and 2012. While all drunk driving deaths nationwide increased by 4.6 percent between those years, drunk driving deaths from truck accidents rose by 80 percent.

Victims should take action

As with any motor vehicle accident, securing compensation for victims is important. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible is recommended to help make this can happen.

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