The trucking industry is a key piece of the economic backbone of Texas and the rest of the country. Because of its importance it is subject to a great level of regulatory oversight. And where oversight is high, it's not unusual for corruption to creep into the mix.
When that happens, the whole system can be threatened with decay, just like a human body with a bad infection. Where trucking is concerned, the actions of bad actors can lead to situations that result in serious or deadly vehicle accidents.
We touched on this concern in a post last month. Our objective was to highlight that a lot of behaviors by a lot of different individuals can contribute to the conditions that result in death and injury. And it can become very complicated to make sure that those who may be responsible for damages are held accountable.
In that post, we noted the case out of Texas in which a lab operator falsified drug-screening tests for would-be truckers seeking to get their commercial licenses. He pleaded guilty to allegations that he collected samples but never had them tested.
And this week we learned that a doctor in New York City who is authorized to perform mandated physicals for commercial driving licenses is facing federal charges for approving some applicants as fit for duty when he hadn't ever done the tests. In addition, it's alleged that unqualified, uncertified clinic employees handled exams of two license applicants.
Now, this individual is only charged with crimes. He is not convicted. But if he is found guilty, he could receive a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
Such serious consequences reflect how seriously the government takes its regulatory function. But don't the alleged activities also raise fresh concerns about how many improperly licensed truckers may be on the road right now?
Source: Overdrive, "New York doctor charged after not performing CDL physicals," Matt Cole, Sept. 16, 2015