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An Associated Press news story out of Dallas, Texas reports that as much as one quarter of big rig truck drivers involved in fatal truck accidents from 2000 to 2005 had past records of criminal activity.

The report says that:

The Dallas Morning News’ analysis discovered that of 953 truckers faulted in fatal crashes during that time frame, at least one in four had been convicted of a criminal offense or received deferred adjudication – in which a defendant’s record doesn’t reflect a conviction as long as probation is completed – before the crash.

More than 14 percent had committed drug or alcohol offenses prior to their accidents. More than one in 10 were felons.

Currently, state and federal laws do not require trucking companies to do background checks, nor do they prohibit the companies from hiring truckers with criminal backgrounds. Maybe it’s time to tighten these laws for the protection of the general public.

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