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Central database aims to decrease truck accidents

Truck accidents were responsible for the deaths of 3,744 people in 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Approximately 49 people were killed in Maryland alone. These catastrophic collisions are due in part, to distracted, drowsy, drunk and otherwise negligent truck drivers who fail to adhere to the rules of the road. While truck drivers may be given citations, fail drug tests and commit other illegal acts, there has not been a way to track these truckers and their violations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed the creation of a centralized database that would allow trucking companies access to this very important information.

The Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is designed to track the results of drug and alcohol tests given to truckers, as well as any violations they might have. Before trucking companies are able to hire new truck drivers, they must check the central database to ensure that the driver does not have any outstanding violations or has failed drug or alcohol tests. In addition, employers must perform an annual check on all truck drivers in order for them to maintain employment. When truckers go to renew their CDL, state officials must also check the database.

Although this information will be available to state officials, federal officials and trucking companies, truckers’ personal information will be protected. The data will remain in the drug and alcohol clearinghouse for five years. Once the database goes into effect, the number of people who are injured and killed in tractor trailer accident is expected to decrease. 

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