July 22, 2008

Some Truckers Violating Federal Law

Some Truckers Violating Federal Law

The trucker in the lane next to you may not speak English well enough to talk to police. That's against federal law.
By KTRH's Scott Crowder
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In most states -- including Texas -- you can take the commercial driver's license test in Spanish. South Texas College of Law Professor Gerald Treece says it's reasonable for the federal government to require truckers to be able to speak to law enforcement. "The federal government, in regulating commerce among the states, does have the authority to impose what are called 'reasonable rules' to be certain that the people carrying the cargo across state lines are carrying legitimate cargo."

There could be a lot of English as second language drivers. Gary Steinberg is with the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Drivers, sales workers and truck drivers; 17% of them are Hispanic or Latino."

Texas DPS tells KTRH the feds have told them not to enforce the law, because troopers here can handle Spanish speaking drivers. But more than 25,000 such tickets were handed out nationwide last year.

Professor Treece says it may be a revenue generator for states. "Local governments sticking their nose in and trying to enforce a fine for something that's a federal offense; it doesn't make a lot of sense to me, actually."

The feds say they want the states to step up enforcement.

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