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Illegal Truck Drivers Given a License to Kill
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November 09, 2007, 02:45 PM
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This is from the That`s Outrageous feature in Reader`s Digest, and it`s pretty outrageous.

Nasko Nazov, an illegal immigrant from Macedonia, didn`t hit the brakes in time and his tractor-trailer plowed into two idling vehicles, one of them the Armstrongs` car. No one in the family survived the horrible crash.

Adding to the senselessness of the tragedy, officials soon learned that Nazov had been driving his truck with a bogus commercial driver`s license (CDL). The suburban Chicago resident had obtained false documents claiming he was a resident of Wisconsin (where he took his driver`s test) and had gotten help from a translator on the answers to a written exam. In 2006, Nazov was sentenced to four years in prison. [Illegal Truck Drivers Given a License to Kill : Commercial License Fraud, by Michael Crowley, July 2007]

There`s more, involving more drivers who don`t speak English:

A check of his credentials led to Utah, where Grcic, a Bosnian who could barely speak English, had received his CDL. It turned out his skills had been certified by one of three companies contracted by the state to administer driving tests to truckers.

While the feds never proved definitively that Grcic had bought his credentials, they did uncover that the firms were willing to certify a trucker`s driving skill for a payment of anywhere from $500 to $1,500. A few hundred more dollars bought the answers to a written test.

Even more disturbing are cases in which the scams are run by the very people who are supposed to be protecting us. In Illinois, state officials sold hundreds of phony licenses to unskilled drivers, including immigrants who couldn`t read or speak English and people who flattened orange pylons in driving tests.

The fraud came to light after a driver who knew little English failed to understand radio warnings from passing truckers that part of his tailpipe assembly was loose. The pieces flew off and were run over by a van, piercing the vehicle`s gas tank. The van exploded into flames, killing six children of a Chicago minister. Investigators determined the trucker had bought a sham license from the state. So had another driver who killed ten people in a 2004 Texas highway crash. The probe went all the way to Illinois governor George Ryan, who was imprisoned last year on corruption charges. Illegal Truck Drivers Given a License to Kill : Paying for Credentials

Practice your defensive driving, folks, the Government isn`t going to protect you.