The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is applauding actions by a House subcommittee to narrow the application of fingerprint-based screening requirements to drivers who transport security sensitive materials.
The existing driver background check took effect for all individuals seeking or renewing a hazardous materials endorsement May 31, 2005, and is hurting the trucking industry by deterring drivers from obtaining hazardous materials endorsements, ATA said.
The SAFE Truckers Act (HR 5604) as approved by the Economic, Security, Infrastructure Protection and Cybersecurity Subcommittee, would differentiate between hazardous materials that pose a significant risk to homeland security and hazardous materials, such as paint, nail polish, perfume, and soft drink syrup, that do not. Today, drivers transporting all types of hazardous materials in threshold quantities must undergo an onerous and expensive fingerprint-based background check, ATA said. Under the SAFE Truckers Act, only drivers transporting security sensitive hazardous materials would be subject to fingerprint-based screening. Drivers transporting non-security sensitive hazardous materials still would be subject to a name-based check against terrorist and intelligence-related databases.
The Subcommittee rejected an amendment opposed by ATA that would have required pre-trip routing notifications, tracking requirements, communication systems and extra training requirements.