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New regulations aimed at shutting down unsafe truck companies

Commercial-sized vehicles can be among the most dangerous vehicles on the road because of their size, weight and power. They can pose an enormous threat to other motorists if they are involved in a crash because even minor collisions can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries for the victims. That is why it is crucial that buses and trucks are operated safely and that drivers and company owners stay in compliance with state and federal regulations.

Many of us have read too many stories about what can happen when these parties fail to comply with safety requirements. Bus drivers fall asleep at the wheel, trucks smash into stopped vehicles and mechanical issues or failures contribute to a crash. And in many cases, these accidents happen after a company has been cited repeatedly for failed inspections or unsafe operations. Safety advocates targeted the Federal Motor Carrier Administration for not shutting down these reckless companies, but that could all be changing.

According to reports, the FMCA has responded to critics and Congress who requested that the agency take a more aggressive approach to shutting down unsafe companies. For too long, bus and truck companies with a history of violations have been allowed to continue operations, putting their passengers and other motorists in serious danger. The National Transportation Safety Board reported that too many fatal accidents were attributed to vehicles that had been recently inspected by FMCA, signaling potentially inadequate inspection efforts and poor oversight on the part of the FMCA.

But now the FMCA says that new regulations will make it easier for them to shut down dangerous truck and bus companies. Previously, truck and bus companies were not shut down if the most recent inspection alone was not enough to warrant such penalties. But now, the FMCA will have the power to consider the history of a company's safety violations to determine whether a company should be put out of business.

Hopefully the new regulations will lead to a decrease in bus and truck accidents that put motorists across Atlanta in danger. Accidents caused by commercial vehicles can be devastating for victims, so getting unsafe buses and trucks off the road could be an effective way of protecting others from the most negligent parties. 

Source: USA Today, "Shutting down unsafe bus companies to get easier," Jan. 17, 2014

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