The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently announced that it will be proposing new truck driving rules to protect drivers from being pressured to work more hours than what is allowed by law. According to the agency, Congress ordered the proposal in MAP-21, the 2012 highway law, reportedly in response to several driver concerns that brokers, receivers, shippers, and carriers are sometimes indifferent to the operational regulations and restrictions imposed by the safety truck driving rules.
New Truck Driving Rules Critical for the Safety of Others
The truck driving rules aim to prevent abuse concerning protocols for hazardous materials, drug and alcohol use, the commercial driver’s license and driver hours of service. The FMCSA stated that the consequences of the drivers’ refusal to continue to drive are either implied or stated explicitly in unmistakable terms. According to several semi truck drivers, those who voice their opinions are reportedly at risk of a reduced payment, denial of sequent loads, denied access to the best trips, or face termination.
The FMCSA wants to prohibit trucking companies and carriers from threatening semi truck drivers with loss of work for refusing to keep driving when doing so would ultimately mean breaking the law. However, the agency reports that limiting pressure from trucking companies through these new rules would not reduce semi truck driver’s own accountability for breaking truck driving rules.
According to the agency, a threat would not be considered to be intimidation unless the truck driver attempts to object or outright objects. Coercion, if proven, could result in a maximum $11,000 fine. For-hire carriers could also risk complete forfeiture of their operating authority. The proposal contains actions for drivers to take should they wish to report pressure. Complaints would be filed with the FMCSA administrator in the state in which the allegation occurred.
Considering the number of semi truck lawsuits taking place throughout the U.S., the latest truck driving rules can be seen as part of ongoing efforts on behalf of the FMCSA and other federal agencies that are attempting to increase safety measures taken for other drivers, motorists and pedestrians. The agency previously released new truck driving regulations in which the FMCSA proposed that electronic logging devices be installed in every truck to prove hours of service. The FMCSA hopes that the latest rules will help decrease the likelihood of drivers operating semi trucks while distracted, under the influence of drugs or alcohol or while fatigued, thus reducing the number of semi truck accidents that occur each day.
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If you or someone you love has been injured in a semi truck accident, you may have legal recourse, and the American Injury Attorney Group can help you determine if you have a case. After a free consultation, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process and work to help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.
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