The Nebraska State Patrol stopped a truck driver who only speaks Russian, and told him he can go no further until he learns the language, Omaha TV station KETV reported.....
The trucker had all his documents in order and a valid commercial driver's license, but he couldn't communicate with state troopers. Under the law, troopers were forced to make the driver park his truck and take him out of service.
Federal regulations said that commercial drivers should be able to read and speak the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public. But 17 states and the District of Columbia offer the commercial driver's license test in foreign languages.
The title in the Boston Channel article [Troopers Ban Non-English Speaking Trucker, June 6, 2007]was rather strange. It wasn't the troopers banning the Russian-speaking driver—the troopers were just enforcing the law—something lots of public officials in the Boston area might be able to learn from.
Trucking has traditionally been an industry in which Americans could be productive without higher education or terribly long apprenticeships. If trucking companies need more drivers, I strongly suspect they could easily find them if they just improved working conditions and wages. Rather than lobbying for increased immigration, the trucking companies need to consider legislation to provide tax relief, better medical care and improved insurance access to their US drivers.