Specifically, a license is a symbolic representation that the licensee possesses the requisite skills and knowledge to perform the regulated activity. Indeed, every individual that gets behind the wheel owes a duty of care to others on the road. He or she is expected to obey traffic laws and respond appropriately to traffic flow and road conditions.
Commercial driver’s license holders are bound to an even higher standard. They must pass special skills and knowledge tests in order to obtain a CDL. Even the federal regulating authority, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, characterizes the operation of a semi, tractor-trailer or other type of commercial vehicle as a big responsibility.
In recent news, authorities discovered three schemes that went beyond negligence and into the realm of fraud. In one example, a CDL examiner pleaded guilty to accepting cash bribes in exchange for giving passing test results to CDL applicants. In another case, a trucker admitted that he had falsified health information on his medical card. The final case involved a company that omitted previous poor safety ratings that it had received from FMCSA inspectors on its application for an operating certificate.
When insufficient skills, poor physical health, inebriation, impairment or other factors prevent an individual from fulfilling the duty of safe driving, he or she has no business getting behind the wheel. Sadly, as a law firm that fights for the rights of car and truck accident victims, we have seen many instances where that duty has been breached.
Source: Overdrive, “Trucking rap sheet: Another CDL test scheme, driver forges med cert,” Matt Cole, June 16, 2016