Feature Articles - Weekly Feature
Jobs Lost to Drugs. Alcohol Equals Trucks for Company Gain
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently released new information on the number of truck and bus drivers that have recently been released from their jobs as a result of illegal drug and alcohol abuse while on the job. The 278 drivers thus far lost their jobs- as part of the investigation conducted by the FMCSA for violations of drug and alcohol use and lack of drug testing enforcement by the trucking and bus companies the drivers worked for. The 128 companies had no comment to add, noting their lawyers would handle anything that needs to be said to the public.
Scary Results Make Citizens Want to Walk
Although this news didn't reach the ears of the community who takes a bus, drives on the highways with truckers, or road workers with their construction equipment, the result is the same. Dangerous individuals who could have seriously injured the passengers they're transporting or sharing the road with are no longer driving, and that's a comfort for those who have heard the story.
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."
Extra tip: The Over Drive Online website is a great resource that helps to seek action on national drug/alcohol clearinghouse testing.
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 not 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.
The Trucker, is an online newspaper, for everything you've ever wanted to know about trucking and more, that featured the breaking story about the drug crackdowns by the FMCSA and continues to follow updates on the story. Just like a regular local paper- only better because it covers everything nation wide with a focus on specifically trucking, it's a good place to start when you want to look up classifieds for jobs, trucks, and everything in between.
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 alleluia because they can apply for these openings so long as their driving records are clean and their bodies are free of drugs and alcohol.