11182017Headline:

Los Angeles, California

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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
Contributor •

Truck Safety A National Concern

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Deaths from trucking accidents take place in part due to relaxed federal regulations.

The dangers posed by tractor trailer drivers can not be overstated. These vehicles traveling on our highways, turnpikes, and rural country roads present a clear and present danger to the lives and property of us. Remarkably at a time where we, as a nation, are more and more focused on safety and prevention of injury are confronted by a Federal Government who philosophically believes that less regulation is better. The argument goes that market forces will provide safety procedures in the absence of government action. Experience suggests this is simply inaccurate. The New York Times report of December 3, 2006 points out this very danger. While our firm is proud and honored to represent the families we do it would be our best hope to PREVENT death and reduce injury rather than having to seek legal representation.

After intense lobbying by the politically powerful trucking industry, regulators a year earlier had rejected proposals to tighten drivers’ hours and instead did the opposite, relaxing the rules on how long truckers could be on the road. That allowed the driver who hit Ms. Edwards to work in the cab nearly 12 hours, 8 of them driving nonstop, which he later acknowledged had tired him.

Government officials had also turned down repeated requests from insurers and safety groups for more rigorous training for new drivers. The driver in the fatal accident was a rookie on his first cross-country trip; his instructor, a 22-year-old with just a year of trucking experience, had been sleeping in a berth behind the cab much of the way.