Hazardous-Cargo Truckers Will Undergo Background Checks
In the coming months, about three million U.S. truck drivers who haul hazardous-labeled cargo must submit to FBI criminal background checks, according to an Associated Press report on March 23. Their names will be cross-referenced with federal databases related to terrorist activity.The federal Transportation Security Administration and the FBI will conduct the "security threat assessments" as drivers renew their credentials allowing them to haul hazardous materials. After a criminal record search, the TSA could either allow drivers to be re-certified, or classify them as threats and prevent them from transporting hazardous materials. The TSA will notify the state where a driver is licensed of its findings. Drivers could appeal the decisions, the AP report said.The truckers will have to pay $94 for the fingerprinting. Some of their companies will pick up the tab. Previously, trucking companies performed drivers' background checks. The program is part of the USA Patriot Act, which Congress adopted in October 2001 to expand the government's surveillance powers after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.