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Changes to federal trucking regulations proposed

One of the biggest issues that the federal government is concerned with when it comes to regulating truck drivers is how to ensure safety. Federal trucking regulations affect people in Florida and across the country as they seek to prevent accidents involving these vehicles. Because these trucks are so large and travel long distances at great speeds, there is a significant chance of a crash with serious injuries and deaths. With that in mind the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is moving forward with a new proposed rule to try and find those who do not adhere those implemented by the FMCSA.

The Federal Register is publishing the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and the Safety Fitness Determination updating the way in which fitness ratings are calculated and determined. These will integrate data from inspections, crash reports and other information to deem how safe a motor carrier is and will do so each month. With this, the FMCSA hopes to identify those who are at greater risk of a crash. Those who are thought to be unfit will be removed from the road until they are able to improve.

Currently, there is a three-tier system that the federal government uses that is satisfactory-conditional-unsatisfactory. There is also one determination of "unfit." This has been in practice for 34 years. The new rules will allow the agency to come to an assessment on the safety of around 75,000 companies every month. As of now, they are only capable of investigating 15,000 every year. Only half receive a safety rating. The new rules would determine fitness based on -- driver performance based on the categories under Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories, the results of investigations, investigations of on-road safety data.

Considering the risks that people are confronted with when these large trucks are on the road knowing the history of an unqualified truck driver, an inattentive truck driver, a driver who has been using alcohol or drugs or one that is violating other regulations can cause a substantial amount of damage, cause injuries and deaths can be important. People who have been hurt or lost a loved one in a truck accident need to understand when a violation of federal trucking regulations, old and new, might have been a factor. Speaking to an attorney can help with pursuing a legal case.

Source:, "FMCSA proposes new rule for determining safety fitness of motor carriers," Jan. 19, 2016

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