Unsafe truck drivers are getting away with breaking the rules because states are not cracking down, says the Department of Transportation.
And the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which administers the commercial drivers license program, is not cracking down on states that let drivers break the rules, according to a report by the DOT’s Inspector General.
The IG’s audit, which had been requested by Congress, underscores well-known problems in the CDL system. While the program has succeeded in practically eliminating duplicate licenses, it remains flawed by administrative loopholes that allow scofflaw truckers to dodge punishment.
The audit found that some states are not disqualifying drivers who have committed major traffic violations, such as driving under the influence or violating an out-of-service order. And some states allow drivers to avoid suspension by offering special licenses. Further, some states are not posting conviction information in records that are shared among the states.
This breakdown is compounded by FMCSA’s failure to sanction states that are not meeting their responsibilities, the IG report said.
Among the IG’s recommendations: require noncompliant states to fix their systems, or face sanctions; improve training for personnel who perform CDL program reviews; prepare a management report that tracks each state’s implementation of the prohibition on special licensing programs.
FMCSA has acknowledged the shortcomings and is working to correct them, the report said.