Truck Drivers Bristle at Anti-Terror Laws (Higher License Fees)Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Truck Drivers Bristle at Anti-Terror Laws (Higher License Fees)

20 April 2005 at 2:31:23 PM

You're a truck driver that hauls nail polish and other materials that might not be environmentally safe but are not WMD. Starting May 31, truckers in the United States that haul what has been defined after 911 as hazardous materials will have to get special licenses, which cost $94, require an FBI background check and fingerprinting, and if a trucker is found negligent in this regard, would disqualify him (or her) from driving for life.

The new requirement would do nothing to stop someone from attacking, stealing or hijacking a truck loaded with deadly chemicals. Nor would it have stopped Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh or the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, who rented vans and loaded them with explosives.


The report warned that it will be a "huge and complex task" to fingerprint and check 2.7 million drivers and said the system has been plagued by delays. It predicted "hundreds, maybe even thousands" of drivers would dispute their disqualifications each year, prompting a lengthy appeals process.

A driver would be disqualified for life if he was convicted of crimes including terrorism, espionage, unlawful possession of explosives, arson or improper transportation of a hazardous material. He would be disqualified for at least seven years for a host of other crimes, including robbery, smuggling, fraud, rape and kidnapping.

Homeland security consultant Randall Larsen says the new rule, mandated by Congress as part of the USA Patriot Act in October 2001, isn't worth the cost.

"If we're not careful, our over-reactions to 9/11 could become a greater threat to the American economy than al-Qaeda," Larsen says. "Wasting money with good intentions makes us no more secure."

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