Last week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed a rule that truck and bus companies with a history of hours-of-service violations may be required to install electronic on-board recorders for at least two years.
Such a violation essentially means that these trucking companies have been caught working their drivers beyond the maximum number of hours, putting the rest of us in the extreme danger of being involved in a traffic accident with a big rig, caused by their exhausted, sleepy truck drivers. Wy aren’t they simply getting their licenses pulled. That would stop the violations.
Several consumer advocacy groups are calling this so-called new rule proposal “weak.” Many say that it was the government agency’s knee-jerk reaction after being criticized by a federal court for failing to consider mandating electronic devices to monitor the trucking companies.
Joan Claybrook, a former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, now President of advocacy group, Public Citizen had this to say: “FMCSA has squandered a real opportunity to protect the public. We know that many more companies violate those rules because their drivers keep fake log books, but they are not detected. Under the FMCSA rule, these scofflaws can continue to violate the law without consequences and put the public at risk.”
Claybrook maintains that the recorders are most effective in detecting such violations and must be made mandatory in an across-the-board standard that treats all companies equally.
I absolutely agree that this new rule does nothing to enhance public safety. We have represented numerous clients who have been victims or reckless or negligent truck drivers. In the United States, truck accidents take place every 16 minutes, many times resulting in serious physical injuries and fatalities to the people involved.
If your truck accident injuries were the result of recklessness or negligence on the part of the rig driver, you have the right to hold the driver and his or her employer, liable for your injuries.
There is a special vengeance that comes over me when I am pursuing a trucking company who has been intentionally pushing their drivers to driver longer than what is safe and/or the law allows. They have victimized my client and they point the blame on their driver. Seeking punitive damages is my response to the grossly negligent trucking companies.