SAN ANTONIO -- Two men are accused of bribing a San Antonio Department of Public Safety employee in order to obtain commercial driver’s licenses without taking a skills test.
- 215 fraudulent licenses were issued
- Written and skills test are required to obtain a CDL
- Employee accused of accepting $1,000 per license
A larger FBI investigation says 215 fraudulent licenses were issued as part of this scheme, over a two-and-a-half-year period.
A written test and a skills test are required to obtain a CDL, the second of which is a three-part test: the pre-trip inspection, basic skills and road driving.
“It is your responsibility, for you and your rig. You can’t trust and believe everybody’s going to do what they’re supposed to do,” said Noel Smith, the director of SAGE Truck Driving School in San Antonio.
Smith says all drivers, regardless of vehicle, must practice defensive driving. However, there is a difference between driving a semi-truck without proper training versus a personal SUV or sedan.
“I think it would be more dangerous for an 18-wheeler, simply because you’re hauling a bigger rig, a lot more weight, and you can do a lot more damage,” Smith said.
In the FBI investigation, a San Antonio DPS employee is accused of receiving payments of $1,000 per fraudulent license and forging the skills tests. This means that there could be drivers behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler without the proper training, or potentially without any training.
"It's already bad enough that they weren't trained to drive,” Smith said. “Now on top of that, now they're out there in the public not actually knowing how to drive a rig properly, amongst people, which there are a lot of, that don't know how to drive already anyway."
Texas does not require drivers to attend truck driving school in order to obtain a CDL.