The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has pulled from service a fleet of dangerous trucks and drivers, after the carrier had five recordable crashes, as well as 29 drivers cited for speeding and other traffic violations. According to the release, the company also failed to properly screen driving records of its workers, didn't follow proper procedure when workers and prospective employees tested positive for drugs and alcohol, disregarded federal hours-of-service regulations for truckers and failed to maintain rigs in safe condition, resulting in at least two of the three crashes.
While federal regulators gear focus to this kind of action, advocacy groups and politicians have been pulling for change on several fronts. For one, a labor union and two safety advocacy groups have filed a request with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, asking that it compel the FMCSA to issue new minimum standards for entry-level training of commercial vehicle drivers. Meanwhile, a Republican representative from Pennsylvania has introduced the "Safer Trucks and Buses Act," which calls for a recalculation of the scoring system used since 2010 under the FMCSA's Compliance Safety Accountability Program.
While there are certainly competing interests among these organizations, the bottom line is trucking remains a hazardous industry, and fleet owners who fail to adhere to safe practices risk putting us all in harm's way. This is an issue that should be receiving constant evaluation.
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