As a motorist in Illinois, you may be familiar with driving alongside massive tractor trailers on a regular basis. These massive vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and may have several trailers following behind the truck cab. Large trucks require qualified and licensed truck drivers to operate them. However, a number of truck drivers who are operating tractor trailers are not qualified, and some have pending violations, drug charges and other infractions that should keep them off the road.
Until recently, there has not been a way for trucking companies and other agencies to share information regarding truck driver violations, license information and alcohol test results. The Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse was designed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to do just that. This national database allows trucking companies, medical review officers, third party administrators, substance abuse professionals and licensing agents to post information and share it with others.
Once the clearinghouse launches, trucking companies will be required to search the database before hiring new employees. Furthermore, companies will run a search for current employees once every year. Before state drivers licensing agencies are permitted to issue, transfer, upgrade or renew a CDL, they must also search the database.
Officials hope that the clearinghouse will help to keep unqualified truckers off the road. Drunk, distracted, unlicensed or otherwise negligent truck drivers put peoples’ lives in danger and should be restricted from operating large trucks. This national database may limit the number of reckless truckers and could save lives as a result.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.