Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) December 8, 2015 – The trucking industry is pushing for relaxed safety rules, even as truck accidents increase.
Nearly 4,000 people die in the United States each year in accidents involving large trucks. More than 85,000 are injured. Fatalities involving big rigs have increased 17 percent since 2009, and injuries have increased by 28 percent. However, the trucking industry is pushing Congress to loosen safety restrictions.
“Far too many people lose their lives or are seriously injured in truck accidents,” said Paul Greenberg, a truck accident attorney with the Chicago firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. “We need to be strengthening truck safety standards, not weakening them.”
The trucking industry supports proposals that would allow younger drivers, and significantly heavier and longer trucks. Supporters of the changes say that public safety would be improved, because there would be fewer trucks on the road, but truck safety advocates say that claim is ridiculous. Opponents of the changes say that truck safety would be degraded by the changes, and the proposals would serve only to enrich the trucking industry.
A bill currently pending in Congress would enact another change favored by the trucking industry: blocking the public from being able to view the safety ratings of truck companies online. As of now, the public is able to search the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) database of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, to see how companies rank in terms of vehicle maintenance, unsafe driving, crashes and alcohol and drug violations by drivers. The proposed legislation would block the public from viewing the database until changes are made to the CSA system.
Linda Lipsen, head of the American Association for Justice, said the bill was a giveaway to the most dangerous trucking companies and would harm public safety.
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