“New” Companies May Face Penalties Under Proposed FMCSA Rule
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency responsible for regulating the trucking industry in the United States. The FMCSA frequently proposes new rules that it feels will help reduce the number of trucking accidents that occur on roadways across the country.
The agency recently proposed a rule that would severely penalize individuals and companies that repeatedly violate safety regulations. The FMCSA has targeted these carriers due to their increased potential for serious semi trucking accidents.
Targeting repeat offenders
In the past, if a truck driver, trucking company or employee of the trucking company repeatedly violated safety regulations, that driver or company could be fined or ordered out of service until the violations were resolved. Some companies would attempt to circumvent these punishments by shutting down their operations. They would then attempt to gain new certifications by filing applications under different names.
Even though these companies appeared to be different entities on paper, they actually were different in name only. The companies still had the same customers, same employees and the same equipment. The new rule would allow the FMCSA to impose harsh penalties on those companies and drivers found to be engaging in this behavior.
Possible loss of registration
The proposed changes listed several tests to determine if the companies were related, and to discover which employees could be held responsible for the problems. The agency would examine each application for signs of a connection, and to learn how much control and knowledge the employees had over such requests. If a connection was found, the FMCSA could impose a loss of registration order on these carriers, which would prohibit them from operating.
It is important to note that this rule would apply only in specific situations. Only the companies that engage in the most serious safety violations would receive these punishments. Officials would be looking at the types of activities that led to the penalties for the initial companies, and deciding if those behaviors repeatedly placed other motorists at risk.
Seek legal counsel
If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi truck accident, speak to an experienced personal injury. Often, these accidents will cause extremely serious injuries that can take a significant amount of time to heal. It is important that you know the extent of your injuries before resolving your case.
You may be under pressure from insurance companies to take their offers, and settle any of the claims that you may have. These companies are not looking out for your best interests. Discussing your case with an experienced attorney can allow you to understand the options that are available, and help you make the best decision for your future.