FMCSA Declares Motor Carrier an “Imminent Hazard” to Public Safety Showing Need for Drug Testing in Transportation Industry

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FMCSA Declares Motor Carrier an “Imminent Hazard” to Public Safety Showing Need for Drug Testing in Transportation Industry

In March 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) declared a Houston, Texas-based motor carrier to be an “imminent hazard” to public safety and ordered the motor carrier to immediately cease all interstate and intrastate operations, according to a news release on the FMCSA website.

In February 2022, a driver operating for the motor carrier crashed in Tennessee and killed a Sergeant from the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office. The driver did not have a commercial driver’s license, was prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) due to a previous positive drug test, and was arrested for being under the influence of marijuana after the crash.

The FMCSA found the motor carrier to be noncompliant with Federal safety regulations: Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing (49 CFR Part 382); Commercial Driver’s License Standards (49 CFR Part 383); Driver Qualification (49 CFR Part 391); Hours of Service of Drivers (49 CFR Part 395); and vehicle Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance (49 CFR Part 396).

The motor carrier took no action to ensure its driver was eligible to drive or else it would have discovered that the driver was not properly licensed and was prohibited from driving its truck due to a drug test conducted in March 2020 that came back positive for marijuana. In fact, the motor carrier had no safety management controls in place.

In addition, the motor carrier did not have a program to detect and deter the use of controlled substances by its drivers, did not have a program to ensure its drivers were qualified and licensed, did not have a program to control its drivers’ hours of service, and did not have a program to ensure its vehicles were appropriately inspected and repaired.

The FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order stated that the motor carrier’s “…complete and utter disregard for the [federal safety regulations] substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death for your drivers and the motoring public if your operations are not discontinued immediately.”

Failing to comply with the provisions of the Federal imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of up to $28,142 for each violation, civil penalties of not less than $11,256 for providing transportation in interstate commerce without operating authority registration, and up to $15,876 for operating a CMV in interstate commerce without USDOT Number registration.

For more than 25 years, ClearStar has helped transportation clients around the globe succeed by providing them with a full suite of transportation industry screening services that include background checks, drug/clinical tests, physicals, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, and FMCSA screening. For more information, contact ClearStar.

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    Thomas Ahearn - News Blog Editor and Public Relations Specialist

    Thomas Ahearn is our News Blog Editor and Public Relations Specialist. Our News Blog provides information about the background check industry to employers, HR professionals, recruiters, and consumers. ClearStar's News covers a variety of topics including Ban the Box, credit reports, criminal records, data breaches, drug testing, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), E-Verify, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), HR technology, identity theft and fraud, jobs reports, lawsuits involving screening, Millennial workforce, privacy issues, social media background checks, and workplace violence.

    At ClearStar, we are committed to your success. An important part of your employment screening program involves compliance with various laws and regulations, which is why we are providing information regarding screening requirements in certain countries, region, etc. While we are happy to provide you with this information, it is your responsibility to comply with applicable laws and to understand how such information pertains to your employment screening program. The foregoing information is not offered as legal advice but is instead offered for informational purposes. ClearStar is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice and this communication does not form an attorney client relationship. The foregoing information is therefore not intended as a substitute for the legal advice of a lawyer knowledgeable of the user’s individual circumstances or to provide legal advice. ClearStar makes no assurances regarding the accuracy, completeness, or utility of the information contained in this publication. Legislative, regulatory and case law developments regularly impact on general research and this area is evolving rapidly. ClearStar expressly disclaim any warranties or responsibility or damages associated with or arising out of the information provided herein.

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