RealNews

Per Patriot Act, government to check hazmat drivers' backgrounds

The government will launch background checks next week on the nation’s 3.5 million truckers who haul hazardous goods, as part of an effort to prevent terrorist attacks. Truckers’ groups are concerned people will lose their jobs because they did something years ago that disqualifies them from hauling dangerous materials. Rob Black, spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, gave the example of an 18-year-old convicted of a minor drug offense. “He ends up straightening out, gets a job as a truck driver, it’s 4 to 5 years later, he’s turned himself around, he’s got a job, but he’s now at risk,” Black said. The checks are required by the Patriot Act passed by Congress after the Sept. 11 attacks. Certain felons – including those convicted of possession of a controlled substance within the last seven years – no longer may drive trucks with hazardous materials. The same applies to illegal immigrants and anyone who has been judged mentally incompetent. Full Story

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