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Safety Standards in the Trucking Industry in Texas and Elsewhere

Things aren't all that different on the roadways of our neighbor to the north, at least when it comes to truck accidents that occur because of poor safety standards. In British Columbia, a dump truck accident resulted in the death of a man; his SUV was hit head-on by a negligent dump truck driver. Jon Ferry, writing for The Province, also details two other recent commercial vehicle accidents, both of which resulted in fatalities.

Ferry argues that his government must take "equally strong action" (referring back to tougher drunk-driving laws) in regard to safety standards as applied to the trucking industry. But Ferry also wonders whether tougher laws would be "unfair" to truck drivers, who, as we've seen in Texas and across the U.S., are pushed to drive while fatigued, whether by their own choice or under pressure from their employers.

The state of Texas is no stranger to these issues. Advocates here are pushing measures that would likely prevent big rig crashes, such as modifying hours-of-service rules and requiring the use of electronic onboard recorders in place of driving logs (or "comic books," as they're otherwise known, given the prevalence of fudging the numbers written down in the driving logs).

Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the consecutive number of hours that truck drivers can be behind the wheel, and provide a better means with which to enforce the rule by using electronic logbooks. These measures should help to reduce injuries and deaths that result from truck accidents.

Source: The Province, "Trucking safety standards need improvement," Jon Ferry, 05/24/11

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