WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation has permanently banned drivers convicted of human trafficking from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).
The ruling was issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on Tuesday.
“This is an important step in the department-wide campaign to keep America’s roadways, railways, airways and waterways from being used for human trafficking,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
The new rule prohibits an individual from operating a CMV for life if that individual uses a CMV in committing a felony involving a severe form of human trafficking, the announcement said.
The rule also revises the list of offenses permanently disqualifying individuals from operating a CMV for which a commercial driver’s license or a commercial learner’s permit is required.
“The commercial motor vehicle industry is uniquely positioned to help detect and report human trafficking, and thankfully professional drivers’ efforts often bring an end to these tragic situations. Sadly, however, some human trafficking activities are facilitated by the use of commercial trucks or buses,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond Martinez.
“By enforcing a lifetime ban on any CMV driver convicted of severe human trafficking, we aim to deliver a strong and effective deterrent to this abhorrent behavior.”
In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security identified over 500 victims of human trafficking and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimated 1 out of every 7 runaways were likely victims of child sex trafficking.
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