In the recent months, nationwide attention has been garnered on commercial vehicle safety through initiatives campaigned by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, as well as, the United States Department of Transportation. Due to this, a large number of commercial vehicle inspections have been conducted in the past couple weeks resulting in numerous issued violations. A recent report by the Wall Street Journal Online detailed how surprise commercial vehicle inspections have led to an increasing number of commercial vehicle and driver violations.
According to the report, federal authorities have conducted more than 30,000 surprise inspections nationwide of commercial vehicles (mainly large buses) through a variety of actions aimed at improving passenger safety in light of numerous high-profile tour bus crashes in the past year. Our Chicago semi truck accident lawyers read that through thorough investigations and compliance reviews, over 46 motor coach companies have been shut down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration due to unsatisfactory evaluations. Strict regulations have been imposed on commercial vehicles due to a number of fatal accidents, such as one bus accident that occurred last March which resulted in over 15 fatalities.
The article points out that many commercial vehicle carriers are finding the new safety initiatives favorable and believe that surprise inspections will consistently encourage safe operating habits of commercial vehicle drivers, as well as, regular vehicle maintenance. On the other hand, many carriers would like to see law enforcement cracking down on commercial vehicle operators traveling at unsafe speeds. Given that one of the most common causes of commercial vehicle accidents is driver control, law enforcement nationwide must make it a priority to rigorously enforce speed regulations.
In an effort to continue safe regulation, administrators at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are developing a smartphone application that would give consumers full access to information regarding the safety records of all commercial vehicles, especially bus companies. The application will also provide an easier way for motorists to report commercial vehicle safety violations to the FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint Database. The application is expected to hit markets next month.
Our Chicago truck accident attorneys commend the efforts of agencies across the country to enforce federal and state commercial vehicle rules and regulations on a regular basis. By holding commercial vehicle drivers and their carriers to a higher standard, it encourages safe driving habits every time a vehicle is operated on our nation’s roadways and in turn help prevent that thousands of injuries and fatalities that result each from semi truck accidents.