Trucks Are Getting More Dangerous, Thanks to Congress
Monday’s Huffington Post contained an article entitled “Trucks are getting more dangerous and drivers are falling asleep at the wheel. Thank Congress.” This article is described as “the inside story on how the trucking industry and politicians have conspired to make our highways less safe.”
The article in question highlights the catastrophic collision and injuries suffered by Illinois State Trooper Douglas Balder when his police vehicle was struck by a flatbed due to the driver’s fatigue. It then draws a link between this specific instance and Congress’ ongoing failure to protect the public from the negligent conduct of the trucking industry.
More specifically, the article outlines how Congress has been caving to lobbyists from the trucking industry that want to roll back, block, and/or modify at least a half-dozen safety regulations.
While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recognized the mounting evidence demonstrating that sleep apnea has caused perilous levels of fatigue to drivers, pilots, train engineers, and others who need to remain alert at work, trucking lobbyists have been successful in persuading the FMCSA to back off and ultimately withdraw its proposed rules that would have required over weight truckers to get checked for sleep apnea.
To further compound this egregious conduct, trucking industry lobbyists “approached allies in Congress to write a law that would require the agency to follow the longer, more cumbersome formal rule making course.” This was done to slow the FMCSA from enacting more stringent rules that would make our highways safer.