Federal regulators are fed up with dangerous trucking companies. New policy proposals announced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) would make it easier to keep dangerous trucking companies off the road.
Under the old rules, the FMCSA would rely on roadside inspections to flag dangerous trucking companies for audits. Afterwards, the FMCSA would audit the company and look for violations. Violations include poor maintenance practices, abysmal alcohol and drug testing policies and ignoring hours-of-service rules. FMCSA inspections can take several days and the agency can only audit 15,000 trucking companies annually.
The new rules would allow the FMCSA to use information from roadside inspections to shut down dangerous trucking companies. Under this new policy, the FMCSA could examine 75,000 carriers each month. The new policy would allow the FMCSA to assess 60 times the number of trucking companies each year! Although the FMCSA will be putting more trucking companies under the microscope, the agency expects only 300 will be suspended every year.
Why We Need Policies to Avoid Truck Accidents
In the summer of 2014, comedian Tracy Morgan was badly injured after a WalMart truck slammed into his limo while leaving a parking lot. The comedian was left with a traumatic brain injury and his friend James McNair died. According to the lawsuits filed against WalMart by Tracy Morgan and James McNair’s family, the WalMart driver had been awake for 24 hours and was speeding.
We need these policies to prevent future truck accidents. The FMCSA will be able to use new tools to become more efficient at its job, which involves keeping motorists safe from the devastation caused by truck accidents.