While in the midst of the most important financial debate in our nation’s history, President Obama got some positive reinforcement regarding his administration’s efforts towards truck safety and the prevention of dangerous truck accidents.
On Tuesday, The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported the progress the Obama Administration has made towards the crackdown of unsafe motor carriers — which includes trucking companies as well as passenger buses and motor coaches.
Non-compliant trucking and bus companies put public safety at risk on every highway, in every state, for every hour of every day. They risk the safety of their own drivers. And they put precious cargo — both priceless people and costly consumer goods — in danger of never reaching its destination.
Since U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood assumed office in early 2009, the FMCSA has issued imminent hazard orders to 14 dangerous motor carriers. This type of order immediately prohibits the company from sending any of its vehicles out onto our roads. A ban on 14 companies during a two-year period may not seem like many, but it’s exactly the same number of bans the FMCSA enforced between the years 2000 – 2009 combined.
So far, during the President’s term in office, the number of inspections and safety reviews of American bus companies has doubled. In May, the FMCSA did approximately 3,000 surprise inspections of commercial buses, and, in only a two-week period, inspectors banned 127 non-compliant drivers and 315 unsafe vehicles from the roads.
Secretary LaHood cited three of the most common bad practices of trucking and passenger bus companies:
- Failure of drivers to adhere to sleep and rest regulations.
- Failure to provide adequate driver training.
- Failure to maintain the mechanical workings of vehicles.
LaHood and the FMCSA know that increasing the numbers of inspections and increasing penalties for non-compliance can, hopefully, decrease truck accidents and also encourage better compliance by all motor carriers that travel through the U.S. The FMCSA is also in the process of lobbying Congress for stronger authority to re-investigate questionable trucking companies and open up more locations for surprise inspections of passenger buses.
President Obama nominated Raymond H. “Ray” LaHood for U.S. Secretary of Transportation in December 2008, and, approximately one month later, his nomination was confirmed by the Senate. Prior to his nomination, La Hood served in the House of Representatives as the Republican representative of Illinois’ 18th congressional district.
Chattanooga sees a large amount of traffic from trucking companies because of our central location. That makes our city particularly dangerous for truck accidents that also involve passenger vehicles. As you can see from the statistics given above, it’s hard for just anybody to nail down a trucking company for an accident caused by non-compliance. The Insiders know what to look for if you’ve been hurt in a truck accident. Don’t hesitate to seek our advice.