Any truck driver hauling hazardous materials must be fingerprinted and undergo thorough background checks under a new federal anti-terrorism law that started this week, reports The Tennessean. Proponents of the procedure say it might help stop criminals or terrorists from getting behind the wheel with cargo that could be used to explode buildings or unleash biological or chemical threats.
The law calls for the FBI to use the fingerprints to check each driver’s criminal background and immigration status. Some trucking organizations call the new process unnecessary and ineffective. They also cited “unfair costs” to drivers. Cliff Harvison, president of the National Tank Truck Carriers Association, based in Alexandria, Va, said there are not enough fingerprinting facilities. Harvison argued that the new initiative is not “user-friendly to drivers,” noting that they will have to drive on their own time both to get fingerprinted and to pick up their licenses. Fees vary from state to state and range from $25 to $99 per driver.