Faced with a shortage of experienced drivers, some Texas trucking companies are turning to ex-convicts as an attractive pool of low-cost labor, reports the Dallas Morning News. And the state of Texas is helping to train them. Of 953 truckers faulted in fatal crashes from 2000 through 2005, at least one in four had been convicted of a criminal offense or received probation.
More than 14 percent had committed drug or alcohol offenses prior to their accidents, and more than one in 10 were felons. The News’ analysis also showed that at least 137 truckers had one or more criminal offenses in the 10 years prior to their fatal accident. Texas taxpayers are helping to put some of these former criminals behind the wheel of big rigs through classes that have trained 1,200 prison inmates to become truck drivers in the past decade.