CDL fraud among DOT priorities for 2021

December 2020/January 2021

Mark Schremmer

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Concerns regarding fraudulent commercial driver’s licenses made the list of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Top Management Challenges for 2021, according to a recent report from the Office of Inspector General.

From 2016-20, OIG investigations related to CDL fraud have resulted in 33 indictments, 27 convictions, 54 years of incarceration, and about $7 million in fines, forfeitures and restitution.

“As part of its effort to reduce crashes involving large trucks and buses, FMCSA must provide robust oversight of states’ compliance with requirements for CDL programs,” the DOT OIG report stated. “This includes, for example, monitoring certified medical examiners who conduct physical examinations to confirm drivers are qualified to operate commercial vehicles.

“In addition, FMCSA must take steps to identify and prevent CDL fraud. OIG investigations have uncovered fraud related to several CDL issues, including commercial driver medical examinations involving doctors or drivers, public corruption of state employees, CDL third-party testers, reincarnated carriers, and other CDL-related issues.”

The OIG also wants FMCSA to do a better job of identifying motor carriers with safety concerns and prioritizing interventions for high-risk carriers. Last year, OIG said the agency’s corrective action plan for improving its Safety Measurement System and Compliance, Safety and Accountability program “lacks implementation details.”

“To meet this challenge, FMCSA must take steps to ensure it has the quality data needed to support its assessment of motor carrier safety performance,” the report stated.

From 2016-18, the total number of motor vehicle fatality crashes decreased by 3.3%, but large truck and bus fatality crashes increased by 5.8% over the same time period.

Other 2021 priorities cited in the report included ensuring compliance with safety regulations, addressing longstanding cybersecurity weaknesses and adopting oversight approaches for automated vehicles. LL

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Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.