Illinois Owner Operators Will Lose CDLs for Human Trafficking
On July 16, 2019 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA) released a final rule that permanently bans CDL drivers convicted of human trafficking from having a CDL ever again. Illinois Owner Operators and those from other states stand to lose their CDLs forever if found involved in human trafficking. Drivers who lose their licenses permanently will become uninsurable by commercial truck insurance providers.
Is Human Trafficking a Problem For Illinois Owner Operators?
Is human trafficking an issue among professional drivers in Illinois? According to the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services(DCFS) it is. Owner operators and other OTR drivers are potentially the first contact a teenage runaway might make outside of their home. Severe trafficking, the transport of large numbers of trafficked individuals across interstates, is almost entirely attributed to the commercial trucking industry.
If you ever suspect a hitchhiker is a young runaway DO NOT LET THEM IN YOUR CAB. Obviously, inspect your loads and NEVER accept a load you cannot personally view. A great resource for drivers is the Illinois AMBER alert. It’s not perfect, as it only describes reported individuals, but it’s a good tool to be familiar with.
How It Affects Owner Operator Insurance in Illinois
Think of owner operator insurance as a club you pay to be in. The idea is that everyone in the club will pay (insurance premiums) and if a driver in the club suffers a loss, like an accident or damage to their rig, the club will cover the it. Illinois commercial truck insurance companies require all professional drivers to be properly licensed to be “in the club”. Naturally, you want to be in a club with other safe, professional truckers who obey laws and act ethically. Fewer accidents mean fewer claims, and ultimately lower premiums for everyone involved.
The DOT is bringing the hammer down on drivers who transport groups of women and children for the purpose of trafficking. FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez states “By enforcing a lifetime ban on any CMV driver convicted of severe human trafficking… If a commercial driver is convicted of using their commercial motor vehicle related to human trafficking—that person will never be driving interstate commercial vehicles again.”
For more information about Illinois Owner Operator Insurance contact us.