Most truck safety violations are identified in roadside inspections that take place in Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth, TX and nationwide. However, this may not be the best approach to ensuring that truck drivers and trucking companies are following all of the safety rules that have been set by the state or by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. A truck accident lawyer knows that some trucking groups and safety advocates believe that limited inspections combined with routine traffic stops could be "several times" more effective at keeping truckers in compliance and cracking down on trucking company negligence.
Unfortunately, many law enforcement officers do not conduct these routine traffic stops for truckers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is hoping to change that with the release of new training material available in mid-February. The FMCSA has created a Large Truck and Bus Traffic Enforcement Train-the-Trainer course, which will also be presented at a national symposium this April. The goal of the new training materials is to make law enforcement officers more comfortable with stopping truckers, and thus more likely to conduct traffic stops of commercial motor vehicles.
Many Police Aren't Familiar with Truck Safety Rules
As Heavy Duty Trucking reports, the FMCSA believes that law enforcement officers are not currently being as effective as they could be in enforcing rules that apply to truck drivers and commercial vehicles. There are lots of reasons why police officers may not be pulling trucks over and conducting traffic enforcement stops as frequently as they should.
One issue is that some law enforcement officers may question the safety of conducting a traffic stop with a large commercial vehicle. However, there is a bigger problem: many police officers don't conduct traffic stops and issue citations to truckers because the officers are not fully familiar with FMCSA and state rules and thus are uncomfortable making a determination about whether a trucker has done something wrong or not.
More familiarity with the rules could make it easier for police to identify violations and could make them more likely to try to pull truckers over since they won't have to worry about whether they are making mistakes with their enforcement efforts.
Law enforcement officers also need to be aware of the processes for entering information about violations into federal databases, as often this does not occur when a police officer has stopped a trucker and found the truck driver has done something wrong. The federal databases need to be complete and accurate, because the databases are useful for the FMCSA in determining which motor carrier companies are not following the rules and need to be subject to actions up-to-and-including suspension or revocation of operating licenses.
The FMCSA will hopefully help to solve the problems that exist that are preventing police from citing truckers. The goal is for the new training to lead to more traffic stops that are properly reported. This traffic enforcement needs to be part of a comprehensive enforcement plan including both roadside inspections and traffic stops that are all designed to ensure that the public is as safe as possible from truck crashes.
If you or a loved one has been injured contact Coby L. Wooten, Attorney at Law, P.C. at 800-994-1966 or visit http://www.cobywootenlaw.com. Serving Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth, TX and surrounding areas.