Truck drivers need to follow many federal rules. These rules are designed to help prevent trucking collisions and to keep you safe. For example, truck drivers are required by law to take rest breaks to ensure that they are not driving dangerously tired. They must also keep track of their rest stops, the visual inspections of their trucks, and their cargo. There are limits as to the amount of cargo they can carry and the amount of miles they can drive each day. Truck drivers also must pass health checkups, written tests, and practical exams to get their license.
The problem with these regulations is that in order for them to work they must be enforced. When truck drivers or carriers ignore the rules, trucking collisions in Hollywood and Florida occur, injuring innocent people. Unfortunately, truck drivers and companies have financial incentives to break the rules. When trucks are overloaded with cargo or when truck drivers stay on the road longer than they are allowed to, the cost of the transport declines. Unfortunately, so does the safety of the delivery.
The Challenges with Enforcement
Police and other authorities are supposed to notice and stop trucks that are dangerous so that these vehicles can be removed from the road. Unfortunately, in many cases trucks are never caught violating the rules or are cited but never face any real consequences for breaking the rules. There are many reasons why trucks and trucking companies escape enforcement:
- Truck carriers may re-organize as a new company with a different name to get away from charges against them
- Truck drivers cross state lines so it is harder to pursue them
- Police may not know what to look for in a truck inspection
- Trucks may use less-frequented roads to escape notice
- Log books and paperwork may be falsified to hide wrongdoing
A New Program for Enforcement
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is starting a nation-wide program to encourage enforcement of trucking regulations. The program, set to start this month, will train police officers how to pull over a truck safely, how to file the correct documentation, and how to conduct a truck inspection.
According to the Transportation Research Board, police are trained to pull over a range of vehicles disobeying traffic rules. However, research has shown that some officers hesitate when pulling over large trucks because they are not confident that they can do so safely or are not sure about the paperwork, inspections, or regulations involved. Truck traffic stops are different than stopping passenger cars. Trucks are subject to more rules and some drivers may be from out of state. Conducting an inspection can be a challenge if a police officer is not familiar with big rigs and heavy trucks. The FMCSA program is designed to address these issues and to give police more information and tools to enforce trucking regulations.
Enforcing the rules is important, but what happens if a driver or truck company breaks the rules and you are injured as a result? In addition to contacting police, you can call Flaxman Law Group, a law firm in South Florida. Our attorneys can help you understand whether you have a civil case. If you do, our attorneys can take care of all the details of your case and pursue compensation for the losses you have suffered. Often, civil cases have a significant impact on safety because they may force trucking companies to make important safety changes. If you would like to know more about what you can do, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation.