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The disqualification criteria for commercial truck drivers

It takes a great deal of training and skill to qualify to drive a large truck or commercial vehicle in Ocala and Marion County. Yet despite the skills that truckers demonstrate, their vehicles still pose a threat to other drivers, and there is specific disqualification criteria for truck drivers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that as recently as 2012, there were 3,802 accidents involving large commercial vehicles in the United States.

Most would assume that at the time of these accidents, the truck drivers involved were legally qualified to operate the vehicles that they were driving. However, few are probably familiar with disqualification criteria for truck drivers. If it is discovered that a driver’s past conduct should have caused him or her to be disqualified prior to having caused an accident, the carrier that employs the driver could also be held liable by accident victims.

Chapter 49 of the Federal Code of Regulations deals with transportation regulations. In section 391.15 of this chapter, it lists the disqualification criteria for truck drivers which can cause a commercial vehicle operator to become suspended from performing his or her job. These include criminal offenses such as:

  •          Operating his or her vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  •          Refusing to submit to the mandated field sobriety tests of the state that he or she is traveling in.
  •          Transporting illicit substances in his or her vehicle.
  •          Using his or her vehicle in the commission of a crime.
  •          Leaving the scene of an accident in his or her vehicle.

Along with criminal offenses, a driver can have his or her driving privileges revoked for violating federal restrictions against texting or using a handheld device while driving. To qualify for suspension, he or she must be employed by a motor carrier and have been officially on-duty at the time of the offense.

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