The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced a final rule that will permanently ban drivers convicted of human trafficking from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
The new rule prohibits a driver from operating a commercial vehicle for life if that individual uses a commercial vehicle when committing a felony involving a severe form of human trafficking without the possibility of reinstatement. In doing so, the FMCSA also revised the list of offenses permanently disqualifying individuals from operating a commercial vehicle.
As defined by 22 U.S.C. 7102(11), a severe form of human trafficking is sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion or in which the person induced to perform such an act is under 18 years of age. It also includes the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.
The ruling follows President Trump’s signing of the No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act.
“By enforcing a lifetime ban on any CMV driver convicted of severe human trafficking, we aim to deliver a strong and effective deterrent to this abhorrent behavior,” said Raymond Martinez, FMCSA administrator. “If a commercial driver is convicted of using their commercial motor vehicle related to human trafficking—that person will never be driving interstate commercial vehicles again.”
Deterring trafficking in commercial transportation is one part of the Trump Administration’s commitment to fighting human trafficking. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking recently submitted its final report recommending actions that it can take to combat human trafficking.
In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security identified over 500 victims of human trafficking and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimated that one out of every seven runaways were likely victims of child sex trafficking.
“This is an important step in the department-wide campaign to keep America’s roadways, railways, airways, and waterways from being used for human trafficking,” said Elaine Chao, U.S. Transportation Secretary.