Industry Seeks Relaxed Regulations for Large Commercial Trucks
An article last month in The Kansas City Star highlighted the trucking industry’s recent efforts to loosen restrictions on trucking companies and their drivers. In Rules for big rigs spark big spending, Brian Joseph of Fair Warning, a nonprofit news organization focusing on public health, safety, and environmental issues, argues that the trucking industry is making our roads less safe through its lobbying efforts.
Large commercial truck accidents kill nearly 4,000 people and injure more than 85,000 every year in the United States. Since 2009, deaths from commercial truck accidents have increased 17%, while injuries have risen 28%. Despite these depressing numbers, Congress is looking to reduce the controls the federal government places on large commercial trucks as a result of increased lobbying efforts by the trucking industry.
A federal mandate that would force states to allow large commercial trucks to pull double 33-foot trailers was recently halted in the Senate, but other proposals being considered by Congress include:
▪ Raising the maximum weight of large commercial trucks.
▪ Allowing states to lower the minimum age for interstate truck drivers from 21 to 18.
▪ Eliminating certain rest requirements for commercial truck drivers.
▪ Halting efforts to revise 30-year-old minimum requirements for insurance for large commercial trucks.
▪ Removing safety ratings of trucking companies from the Internet, where they can be examined by the public.
Supporters of these proposals argue that public safety will be improved because there will be fewer large commercial trucks on the road. But industries don’t generally get safer when restrictions are lifted. Left to their own devices, any industry is going to focus on profits at the expense of safety. It’s up to Congress to keep our roads safe from large commercial truck accidents.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a commercial truck in Kansas or Missouri, you should talk to an experienced Kansas City truck accident attorney. At Wendt Law Firm P.C., we specialize in personal injury trial litigation and have years of experience to help victims of negligence get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today to learn more!