Baltimore Trucking Accident Lawyers: Proposed Law for Break Safety RulesJuly 10, 2015
Truck drivers who violate safety regulations are a serious threat to everyone on the road. Each year in the U.S., nearly 4,000 people are killed and more than 100,000 are injured in accidents involving large commercial vehicles. Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed a new regulation aimed at curbing this pervasive problem. The new regulation would prohibit transportation intermediaries from coercing truck drivers to violate safety regulations; including drivers’ hours-of-service limits, CDL requirements, drug and alcohol testing rules and hazardous materials regulations.
The trucking industry is notorious for placing excessive demands on drivers, leading many to push themselves beyond their physical limits. Of particular concern is speeding and driver fatigue, both leading causes of fatal trucking accidents. To combat this problem, the FMCSA has adopted a series of safety regulations in order to protect drivers and everyone with whom they share the road. These rules offer specific guidelines for minimum rest breaks, place limitations on the number of consecutive hours a driver can work and the number of hours worked in a seven- or eight-day work week. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, many drivers choose to ignore these rules with sometimes devastating consequences.
The new rule prohibits a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, dispatcher or transportation intermediary from requiring a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle if the transportation intermediary knew or should have known that such operation would require the driver to violate a safety regulation. This type of coercion would include threatening to withhold future business, employment or work opportunities. The proposed rule includes procedures for drivers to report incidents of coercion. Transportation intermediaries found pushing drivers to break the rules would face strict penalties and fines of up to $11,000 per incident, as well as possible revocation of operating authority.
The FMCSA has received a fair amount of pushback from shipping groups including the Transportation Intermediaries Association. They argue that if the proposed rule is adopted, it could potentially add yet another layer of liability in accident cases wherein a driver was found in violation of a safety rule. Conversely, some safety advocacy groups say that the $11,000 fine is not high enough to deter multi-million dollar companies from coercing drivers to break the rules if doing so increases their bottom line.
Baltimore Trucking Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Obtain Compensation for Victims of Trucking Company Negligence
Accidents involving large commercial vehicles often result in devastating losses. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in an accident involving a large commercial truck, help is available. For more than 30 years, Maryland truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton have been successful in collecting large financial awards for truck accident victims and their families. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly skilled and compassionate Maryland truck accident lawyers or contact us online. A member of our qualified legal team is available to answer your questions 24-hours a day.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, Maryland, and we represent injured victims and their families throughout Baltimore, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Towson, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Glen Burnie, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.