The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently released new information on the number of truck and bus drivers that have been released from their jobs as a result of illegal drug and alcohol abuse while on the job. 278 drivers have lost their jobs as part of the investigation conducted by the FMCSA for violations of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as lack of drug testing enforcement by the trucking and bus companies. The 128 companies had no comment to add, noting their lawyers would handle anything that needs to be said to the public. This has left a surplus of heavy equipment on the market.
Scary Results Make Citizens Want To Walk
Although this news didn’t reach the ears of most bus users, those who share the road with truckers, or construction equipped road workers, the results are the same. Dangerous individuals who could have seriously injured the passengers they were transporting or sharing the road with are no longer driving, and that’s a comfort for those who have heard the story.
“That’s just so scary; I think I’ll walk or take the U-train,” noted one Chicago resident.
The CEO of American Trucking Association (ATA), Bill Graves, commented on the situation July 2 in a letter to the FMCSA.
“ATA is pleased that both DOT [Department of Transportation] and FMCSA are committed to improving truck and highway safety through stepped-up enforcement and through focused drug and alcohol inspections, …ATA supports increased enforcement of the drug and alcohol regulations,” said Graves. “The long overdue national clearinghouse will be a far more effective way to address the ongoing problem of some commercial drivers evading testing program rules…”
Fewer Drivers Means More Trucks
While these big rig drivers are out of work and out of cash, most of them will be replaced. If the companies they work for are under fire and thus fiscally stretched- the unused trucks in the fleet have to be sold. It’s an awkward catch-22; hire more drivers to drive the trucks, but without the money for a proper defense, or sell the trucks and hopefully get out of the way of fire from the FMCSA, DOT, and ATA. Drivers who owned their own trucks but drove for these companies have the same issues; selling the used rigs means they still can’t work but at least they can hire a lawyer to clear them.
As For The Rest Of The World…
The vacancies left behind in trucking may or may not be filled, depending on what the owners of each company decide to do. As for the bus driver vacancies, you can be rest assured the cities and companies involved are going to be extra careful about who they hire from now on. In the world of the jobless, this is almost a hallelujah because they can apply for these openings so long as their driving records are clean and their bodies are free of drugs and alcohol.