Federal Trucking Regulator Tightens up Compliance Laws for Trucks and Buses
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has put in place 11 new improvements to the way the safety and compliance of truck and buses companies are measured, to help it respond to compliance concerns.
As experienced Virginia Beach truck accident injury lawyers, we see many cases in which trucking companies seek to flout the rules and welcome any moves to close loopholes.
The FMCSA is fine tuning its Safety Measurement System (SMS). In a press release it said changes developed over several months with feedback from the public and stakeholders throughout the industry, will “enhance the agency’s ability to identify and take action against trucks and buses with safety and compliance concerns.”
The SMS gathers all available inspection and crash data to highlight the carriers that may pose the greatest risk to other road users. Although there are fewer truck and bus accidents than car accidents, when they do occur they are often of a more serious nature.
Just recently I reported on a bus crash in which a charter bus hit a Miami overpass, killing two passengers.
SMS helps FMCSA more efficiently apply its resources and bring carriers and drivers into compliance with Federal safety regulations in order to prevent crashes and save lives.
“Safety is our number one priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “These improvements will enable us to more accurately identify unsafe truck and bus companies and intervene before tragedies occur.”
The improvements highlighted include
- A new policy intended to better identify hazardous materials.
- Strengthening the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC by including cargo and load securement violations that were previously in the Cargo-Related BASIC.
- Counting the number of equipment violations found during drivers’ pre-trip inspections.
- Aligning speeding violations to be consistent with current speedometer regulations that require speedometers to be accurate within 5 mph.
- More accurately recording fatigued driving issues.
- Aligning the severity weight of paper and electronic logbook violations equally on the SMS for consistency purposes.
Motor carriers are encouraged to check their safety data at on the motor carrier safety measurement system to see how the SMS changes may have affected their SMS results.
There are many causes of truck accidents, but often they involve a violation of FMCSA regulations, which can make your case more complex. Our trucking accident injury attorneys have more than four decades of specialist experience in taking on truck accident cases.
See our guide to federal trucking laws.
The Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Hampton, VA personal injury law firm, Cooper Hurley, handles automobile, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as wrongful death, railroad injury cases and medical malpractice. John Cooper and Jim Hurley have over 40 years of combined experience in handling auto injury accident claims. Attorney John Cooper has been named to Virginia “Super Lawyers” since 2010. Cooper Hurley represents people hurt in accidents in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and throughout VA, and always put the best interests of our clients first. The firm is recognized by other lawyers as “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, a national attorney rating service, for our top level of legal skill and highest ethical standards. Our motto is: “Your Injury. Our fight.” If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us at (757) 455 -0077 or contact us through this website.