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St. Louis Truck Accident Lawyers Discuss Federal Trucking Regulations

Federal Trucking Regulations

Commercial truck and bus drivers who drive “interstate,” or across state lines, must follow federal trucking regulations. These regulations are created and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). A driver or trucking company that violates federal regulations may face a number of penalties, including fines and being banned from driving until the violation is corrected. A violation may also indicate negligent behavior on the part of the driver or employer, especially if it is repeated over many months or years.

Truck Safety Rule Highlights

Federal trucking regulations cover nearly every aspect of commercial truck driving. Just a few of the areas in which drivers and employers must follow federal requirements include:

  • the length of time drivers may be “on the clock” and the amount of hours they may drive in that time;
  • the required maintenance of commercial trucks, trailers, and loading/unloading equipment;
  • the licensing of drivers and companies, including special licenses for hauling hazardous materials, multiple trailers, or other loads with special requirements;
  • drug and health screenings for drivers and other employees; and
  • insurance requirements for truck owners, operators, and trucking companies.

How FMCSA Rules are Created

Federal trucking regulations are set by the FMCSA, which follows the same process as every federal agency that creates regulations. The agency begins by proposing a new rule or regulation, which is published in the Federal Register. The published proposed rule is usually accompanied by information on why the FMCSA thinks the rule is necessary and why it chose this particular rule as a way to address the problem.

Then, the agency accepts public comments on the proposed rule for a certain length of time, usually thirty days or longer. Any interested party can comment, but most commenters are people who will be directly affected by the rule, such as trucking companies and individual owner-operators. After the comment period ends, the FMCSA publishes the comments it has received in the Federal Register, along with a statement saying whether or not the FMCSA agrees with the comment’s reasoning and why. Comments the FMCSA agrees with are typically incorporated into the revising of the rule.

Finally, the rule is revised into a “final rule,” which is published in the Federal Register and online. The final rule is usually accompanied by the date at which it will go into effect. Information on how to implement the final rule is usually available from the FMCSA.

Negligence is No Excuse – Obtaining Justice for Our Clients

When a negligent violation of federal truck safety regulations causes an accident, those who are injured may be able to seek compensation for their injuries from the responsible parties. A rule violation isn’t a guarantee that negligence has occurred, but it is a “red flag,” and experienced Missouri truck accident attorney Page Law will investigate further if any rule violations pop up – especially if the rule violation appears to be directly related to the chain of events that caused the crash.

Our law firm is passionate about representing those who have been injured in a truck crash. We understand that an accident can be life-altering and we’re dedicated to helping injured people and their families seek the compensation they need, so their recovery can be as complete as possible. Call us today for a free consultation if you’ve suffered injury in a truck accident.

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