Last Monday, you may have been driving down the highway and saw more semi trucks than usual at rest stops you passed. If you were wondering what was going on, it was a protest that was staged by truck drivers around the country. The hope was to stop the forward momentum of the current administration’s rollback of Obama-era protections for the trucking industry.
Additionally, truckers are hoping to delay the implementation of a federal mandate that will require all rigs to be outfitted with electronic logging devices (ELDs) that monitor time spent on the road. The purpose of the ELDs is to ensure that truck drivers aren’t driving over their maximum allowable hours. The devices will replace paper logbooks that drivers are used to using.
The devices are expensive and will be paid for, in many cases, by the truckers themselves in order to remain in compliance with federal regulations. Some believe that this is an unfair expense when paper logbooks have been the norm for decades. The administration is also set to enact or detract other regulations.
For example, the Obama administration was drafting a rule that would require drivers to be screened and treated for sleep apnea. The current administration has put a stop to this rule. Having drivers properly diagnosed and treated, some say, can prevent many accidents that may be caused by fatigued drivers.
Other rules that were halted were a revamp of the motor carrier safety rating system and a required speed-limiting device on trucks. The addition of automatic braking on trucks as well as underride guards have also been nixed by the Trump administration.
John Lannen, executive director of the Truck Safety Coalition, said the numbers are trending the wrong way. Lannen said that truck crash fatalities are going up and something needs to be done about the trend now. Lannen said, “We’re over 4,000 deaths a year now in truck crashes. It’s been going up steadily and we need to do something now.”
Ray Martinez, Trump’s nominee for administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is set to be confirmed by the Senate in the coming weeks. How many more regulations will be appealed remains to be seen. While no one is sure exactly what will happen as the new administration gains speed in cutting regulations that were put in place under the previous administration, truckers and those in the industry aren’t hopeful.
If you are involved in a semi truck accident in San Luis Obispo, you have legal rights if the other driver is found to be at fault. Call our office today to discover the types of compensation you may be entitled to and how we can assist you. Our team is here for you as you begin to put the pieces of your life back together. Reach out to our attorneys today and take the next steps in recovering what you are due.