08172017Headline:

Montgomery, Alabama

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Tom Methvin
Tom Methvin
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Recent court cases raise questions about trucking safety

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Over the past several years a “disturbing pattern of dangerous activity” by the nation’s trucking industry has developed. We find that a good number of the fatalities resulting from trucking accidents involve driver fatigue. During 2004, 5,190 people were killed in truck crashes, an increase of 154 fatalities over 2003. Additionally, in 2004, the number of truckers killed in crashes increased by 5%. A number of cases we have handled indicate that truck driver fatigue is a major safety problem. Some studies, including two by the National Transportation Safety Board, indicated that truck driver fatigue is a factor in 30% to 40% of severe crashes. No motor carrier driver is allowed to drive more than 11 cumulative hours after 10 hours off duty, according to new regulations passed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The federal and state government’s need to take all steps necessary to change the trends that are developing. Stronger enforcement is obviously needed. In Alabama, that means more state troopers being hired and trained so that highway patrolling can be brought up to needed levels.