New FMCSA rules published

Today the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is publishing new rules that will give the agency the ability to shut down a bus or truck company if it has a history of purposely violating FMCSA regulations. The agency said it intended to apply the rule when it finds that a motor carrier has a pattern of unsafe practices.

“The proposal would further strengthen the FMCSA’s ability to take unsafe trucks and buses off the road if the agency finds that a carrier purposefully employs officers with a history of blatant disregard for safety,” an agency spokesperson said in late 2012 while the rules where being discussed. “Under the proposal, if FMCSA suspects that an officer of a truck or bus company has demonstrated a pattern of avoiding regulatory compliance or ignoring civil penalties for safety violations the agency would investigate the carrier’s management structure and its operations to determine if it is deliberately concealing safety violations or a negative safety history. If a pattern of unsafe practices is found, FMCSA would suspend or revoke the company’s authority to operate.”

The FMCSA said it estimates the rule would have been applied six times in previous years.

I applaud the FMCSA for electing to take stronger action against bus and truck companies who repeatedly put innocent drivers at risk.

After one or more safety violations, many companies simply reincorporate under a different name to avoid being connected to prior problems and continue operating in the same unsafe manner. With the new rules, this will no longer be an option. The violations will now follow the operating license and the people involved permanently.

I hope these new rules will convince companies to follow the safety guidelines the FMCSA has set for commercial carriers and they will stop trying to save money and time at the expense of safety.

I have handled several cases involving poor truck maintenance that have caused serious injuries to my client. In one such case, I represented a woman who was injured when the drive shaft of a poorly maintained truck fell out of the bottom of the truck directly in front of her on the highway.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a wreck, call my office at 817-885-8000 for a free case evaluation and to learn how I can help you.

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