What's an inspector to do when documentation explaining regulations for commercial truck inspections is outdated and confusing? According to one Department of Public Safety Chief, the motto has been "when in doubt, don't document at all".
The result: a failure of inspectors to properly ensure trucks on the nation's roadways are safe. An unsafe commercial truck could result in tragic accidents, accidents that could be easily avoided if these regulations were followed.
Is this problem being addressed?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was required to address the problem through a congressional mandate as part of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act initiative. The agency was called to prepare new documents that are "consistent and clear, uniformly and consistently enforced, and still necessary."
In an effort to meet this mandate, the FMCSA put together an advisory committee to discuss how these "guidance documents" can be updated. The committee is composed of 19 members, including representatives of both the trucking and busing industries as well as law enforcement and public safety groups.
The group is required to report back to the congressional committee by December 5, 2016.
Just how outdated are these documents?
According to a piece by The Newspaper of Trucking and Freight Transportation, Transportation Topics, the documents have not been reviewed in almost twenty years.
How does this affect me?
Anyone that drives on the nation's roadways could be impacted by these documents. Regulations are put in place to help ensure that everyone on the roadways is safe. A failure to enforce these regulations puts everyone at risk.
If a failure to properly follow these requirements results in an accident, remedies are likely available for victims through a personal injury suit. This can provide compensation to help cover the costs associated with the accident.