Truck safety is, in some ways, like a golden ticket for federal regulators, who are continually on the lookout for new ways to improve the regulatory situation so as to decrease truck accidents. The problem is that the trucking industry is not always excited about the oversight required by regulators.
One example of this is the Compliance Safety Accountability program, which uses a scoring system to rate commercial carriers according to their safety performance. The ratings are updated monthly and posted to a website available to the public. The idea behind making the information public is that it helps to promote accountability and improve safety performance.
Not surprisingly, the trucking industry has never been comfortable with the system, which can negatively impact the business of individual carriers. The contention in the trucking industry is that the current safety scoring system is not always accurate, and that this frustrates the intended goals of the program. New legislation has been introduced that would require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to stop publishing safety ratings until a new rating system is developed that better reflects the safety records of trucking companies.
Getting unsafe truckers off the road and putting obstinate trucking companies out of business is an important task for improving highway safety, and it will certainly be interesting to see how the new measure is received. From the standpoint of liability for personal injuries, trucking companies need to be held accountable for acts and patterns of negligence. Victims of truck driver negligence should always work with an experienced attorney to ensure their legal rights are protected and that they have the best opportunity to obtain the compensation to which they are entitled.