Obstruction in State’s Trucker Testing
Shannon Newton, the president of the Arkansas Trucking Association, is angry over the indecision, regarding the authorization of a third-party testing, by the Arkansas State Police Department. According to her, this is likely to hinder the training process of truck drivers in the state. Shannon also explained that she recently got to know about this important issue after she was contacted by the College of the Ouachitas in Malvern, as it was on the verge of launching a new driving course. It was informed by the Police Department that their plan for third-party testers couldn’t go forward, as additional sites and testers were not being included presently.
State Police is responsible for certifying third-party examiners and their indifference over the matter has caused complications for the new course, which came into being by federal grant money.
Newton explained her position by saying, “We’re currently experiencing a significant driver shortage across the industry. Most of my members are concerned with recruiting additional individuals into the industry to become truck drivers to try to reduce those barriers and present the jobs we have as good jobs to get and attainable.”
She further said, “So when you look at places to get education and all the things that one must do to go from being just a regular citizen to a commercial driver’s license holder, any sort of additional obstacle to getting those individuals trained has an adverse effect on us attracting individuals to the industry.” If a person wants to become a certified truck driver, they must pass written and skills examinations to receive their Commercial Driver’s License. The test is administered at the Troop Testing Site by the State Police Department, and the certified partners are allowed to conduct the skills part of the test at other locations.
According to Bill Sadler, the State Police spokesman, additional locations for conducting skills tests have not yet been added, and the police department is still evaluating their options when they heard about the driver shortages, which has hit trucking industry hard in the last few years. The nationwide shortage is expected to become much worse by the end of January, reaching 48,000.
Sadler said in a statement, “I think at the moment the best way to categorize it is we realize under the current configuration there may be some limitations. So we’re looking at options to expand that service where we can, with either additional personnel or changing procedures in whatever way necessary to accommodate the process of third-party testing. We know this is a very important part of the trucking industry in Arkansas. The state police certainly wants to do all it can to accommodate the industry.”
On the other hand, College of the Ouachitas is planning to launch a drivers training course next month, and the inability to provide a tester is a hurdle for the institution. To deal with the conflict, the authorities are in serious talk with the Arkansas Trucking Association board members. In the last few meetings third party issues were discussed in details and the boards has come to the conclusion to push their agenda for finding a solution during its next meeting.
Newton explained in a statement, “We’re really just talking about funding an additional person there within the state police. It could be an additional person. It could be shifting responsibilities to allow someone who is on staff to maybe take this on as one of their duties if they hadn’t previously. The reception we’ve had since we began to inquire about this has been very positive.” – See more at: http://truckernews.com/obstruction-in-states-trucker-testing-p643-90.htm#sthash.ZCU3TsjT.dpuf