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AT NewsBlitz: CDL fraud, parking shortage, rocket attacks and more

Jan. 26, 2015

American Trucker’s round-up of this and that this week features bite-size news of CDL fraud schemes, a jury award for a driver who admitted he had a problem and was treated poorly by his company, the nationwide truck parking problem, the health hazards of sitting for too long and, just when you thought it was safe, a video of a rocket attack on a truck.

As many as 500 CDL applicants passed their exam because a Brooklyn, NY-based commercial driving school rigged the test takers, many of whom spoke little English, with a system of cameras and pagers to pass along questions and answers. The owners of the school pleaded guilty, according to the U.S. DOT’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).

But wait, there’s more: In another case, a New York woman pleaded guilty following an investigation that revealed fraudulent CDL test-taking activities had taken place at five known New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) test centers in the New York City area. CDL applicants paid between $1,800-$2,500 in return for CDL exam answers and escort assistance through DMV processes. Fraud schemes included the use of pencils containing miniaturized encoded test answers, the use of a Bluetooth headset as a communication device to relay CDL test answers, and the use of an external test-taker positioned nearby to take the exams. Investigators identified Marie Daniel as an external test-taker, according to the DOT OIG.

A federal jury has found that Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. violated federal disability discrimination law when it denied “a reasonable accommodation” to a truck driver who self-reported alcohol abuse and then fired him, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported. The jury also awarded the former truck driver $119,612 in back pay. Should public safety outweigh the rights of an employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act?Brian Straight lays out the matter and considers the possibilities over on Fleet Owner.

Truckers – and journalists – be advised: Researchers have found the amount of time a person sits during the day is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and death, regardless of regular exercise. The paper found that prolonged sedentary behavior was associated with a 15-20% higher risk of death from any cause; a 15-20% higher risk of heart disease, death from heart disease, cancer, death from cancer; and as much as a 90% increased risk of developing diabetes, reports the Canadian Press. And, again, that was after adjusting for the effects of regular exercise.

You know that the nationwide parking space shortage is serious when the Wall Street Journal is looking into it. The piece opens with the story of a truck driver who was killed when his truck was set afire as we waiting overnight 150 yards from the factory gate where he was to pick up a load the next morning.

Not much good news in this edition of NewsBlitz, but at least most of us don’t have to worry about being hit by missiles as we’re driving down the road. This recently posted dashcam video claims to show a rocket attack on Mariupol, Ukraine. Keep an eye on the truck – or maybe you shouldn’t. (The Cyrillic title refers to coming under fire from the “Putin Wehrmacht,” in case you were wondering.)

About the Author

Kevin Jones | Editor

Kevin has served as editor-in-chief of Trailer/Body Builders magazine since 2017—just the third editor in the magazine’s 60 years. He is also editorial director for Endeavor Business Media’s Commercial Vehicle group, which includes FleetOwner, Bulk Transporter, Refrigerated Transporter, American Trucker, and Fleet Maintenance magazines and websites.

Working from Little Rock, Kevin has covered trucking and manufacturing for 15 years. His writing and commentary about the trucking industry and, previously, business and government, has been recognized with numerous state, regional, and national journalism awards.

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