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Truck Safety Rules Get Pushed Back

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

California motorists who appreciate safe roadways may have to wait a few weeks longer as far as commercial truck operating rules are concerned. In April, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it was pushing back new regulations that would institute special controls designed to target truckers who drive at excessive speeds or fail to adhere to drug-and-alcohol testing standards.

The proposed regulations would make it mandatory for any trucks that weigh in excess of 27,000 pounds to include speed-limitation devices. Another proposed regulation would see the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration create a database that keeps track of any CDL drivers who fail drug tests or refuse to submit to testing. Carrier companies would have to transmit information on their employees to the FMCSA at least once a year and use the database to perform background checks on prospective hires.

Observers say this isn't the first hangup in making the new safety regulations into official laws. At least one of the proposals has been held up since May 2015. The rules were originally scheduled to get sent for White House approval in April and be formalized in July, but the delay pushes the projected dates back to May and August.

Although safety advocates constantly work to reduce the incidence of 18-wheeler accidents by controlling contributing factors, politics and industry pressures often mean that improvements come gradually. Even when new safety measures are adopted, however, some truck drivers will unfortunately continue to operate their vehicles while impaired or fatigued. A person who is injured in an accident resulting from such negligence may want to have an attorney's help in seeking compensation from the at-fault party.