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Slow Or Weak Regulation Of Trucking Companies

At what point does a truck driver or trucking company become an unacceptable threat to other motor vehicle safety? Not every accident involving a semi truck is the fault of the driver or the company that owns the truck. Most people would agree that it would be unfair to stop a driver from working or a company from operating because of a single accident caused by another driver. Is one speeding ticket enough to stop a driver? Is one violation enough to put a trucking company out of business? Most would say no, but where the line should be drawn is open to debate.

Unfortunately, the line that is currently set is poorly defined and irregularly enforced. When a truck accident causes one or more deaths, it is often easy to trace a history of negligent conduct and unsafe driving leading up to the incident. Some companies operate in unsafe ways for months or years, finally culminating in a deadly truck crash that draws enough attention to shut the business down. It would, of course, be better if unsafe drivers and trucking companies could be identified and stopped before they killed somebody. 

The group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety has criticized the Federal Motor Carrier Administration for not doing more to target the companies that compile poor safety records. Those that earn repeated citations or suffer worse crash rates than other carriers should receive more attention from regulators, according to critics. The goal would be to force carriers to correct safety concerns quickly, or lose the right to operate. Faster action could save lives.

Source: Star Gazette, "Weak regulators? Death by truck on New York's roads," by Steve Reilly, 10 October 2014 

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