Legal loophole allows dangerous trucks to stay on highways
U.S. Senator says dangerous carriers simply change names to avoid scrutiny
A U.S. Senator is drawing attention to a loophole in federal safety laws that are allowing potentially thousands of dangerous truck carriers to continue operating in the face of safety violations and unpaid fines. According to WXXI News, the loophole allows such trucking companies to simply dissolve themselves and reapply for a new trucking permit under a different name, thereby thwarting scrutiny of their poor safety records. The practice, says the senator, has led to a dangerous situation that has already caused unnecessary motor vehicle accidents.
These trucking companies are referred to as “chameleon carriers.” According to the Ithaca Journal, a trucking company that has amassed a pile of safety violations and unpaid fines and is in danger of being shut down will simply dissolve itself and then reapply for a new permit under a different company name.
Critics say that the company is essentially the same, including the same vehicles and drivers who are often guilty of the previous safety violations, but their reapplication simply allows them to operate under a different name and thus thwart any attempt at further investigations that could keep them off the road.
Time for change
The senator leading the fight against the chameleon carriers says the loophole needs to be closed. His proposal includes requiring federal authorities to conduct background checks on individuals, including business owners and truck drivers, when an application for a permit is made. That way, he says, people with dangerous safety records will be kept off the road no matter what company name they operate under.
To highlight the seriousness of the problem, the senator says statistics from 2010 show that over 1,100 trucking companies across the use may be chameleon carriers, with presumably many times more trucks than that number being operated by such characters. The need for change has been driven he says, by recent accidents where dangerously maintained vehicles and improperly trained drivers were allowed to stay on the road by exploiting the current loophole.
Motor vehicle accidents
Motor vehicle accidents of any type can leave victims contending with serious injuries, not to mention the emotional trauma usually entailed with such accidents. Furthermore, victims can soon find that an accident leads to severe financial difficulties as well, especially when they have to take time off work to recover or need to pay for costly medical bills.
In such instances, it is important to reach out to a personal injury attorney in order to discuss the specifics of an accident case. With experienced legal representation, accident victims will have greater confidence in moving forward and getting the assistance they need during their recovery.