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Ensure CDL program integrity, urges Office of Inspector General

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) must ensure the integrity and modernization of the commercial driver license (CDL) program, more effectively enforce safety regulations, and continue to improve data quality. This is according to a report presented by the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General at a United States House subcommittee hearing March 6.

Calvin L Scovel III said that since Oct 1, 2001, with the support of FMCSA, the OIG has carried out investigations with other law enforcement agencies that involved CDL fraud schemes in 26 states. To date, the investigations have led to the prosecution of CDL fraud schemes in 19 states and have revealed that thousands of CDLs were issued to drivers who obtained them through corrupt state or state-approved (third-party examiners) testing processes.

”Curbing CDL fraud is important to highway safety and ensures that only drivers with requisite skills, including applicable training for hazardous material transportation, obtain CDLs,” Scovel said.

Scovel made the remarks before the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development.

He also recommended that FMCSA impose maximum fines on truck companies that chronically violate serious safety regulations. “We found that FMCSA did not consistently implement sanctions against repeat violators,” he said.

Addressing motor carrier data, Scovel encouraged the continuance of FMCSA's efforts to improve data quality. He said this has significantly reduced the percentage of motor carriers that did not report census data on drivers and trucks and has improved the overall completeness of crash reporting from the states.

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