The Proposed Truck Safety Act, Preventing Accidents
Did you know that truck accidents are one of the leading causes of highway deaths in the United States? Because there is such a need for transporting goods, especially in the Sacramento area, the trucking industry will not, with absolute certainty, be going out of business anytime soon. Because of such a high number of fatal accidents caused by truck drivers, there are hundreds of thousands of people banning together to try to change the rules that regulate commercial truck driving.
The Truck Safety Act, proposed to the U.S. senate last month, is one step closer to addressing the much needed concerns about truck drivers and safety concerns. This bill implements new rules, including altering the matter in which truck drivers are paid, insurance provisions by employers, and new speed limits.
- Increased Minimum Liability Insurance. Currently, motor carriers hold a $750,000 minimum liability insurance. In the Truck Safety Act, they request it be increased to $1.5 million. This is because many victims of truck accidents suffer from extenuating and critical medical care and support. This rule is meant to give peace of mind to drivers on the road, knowing any potential medical bills will be covered as a result of an accident.
- Hourly Pay vs. Pay per mile. Commercial drivers are known for being paid per-mile driven. This pressures truck drivers to drive faster than they should in order to get a satisfactory paycheck, putting other drivers on the road in danger while doing so. The Truck Safety Act suggests drivers be paid for all hours that they’ve worked, not just the miles they’ve driven. This will keep drivers from dangerously speeding or skipping much needed rest breaks.
- Collision Systems and Speed Limiters. This Truck Safety Act also proposes that all new trucks be provided a collision avoidance system. These types of systems help drivers avoid dangerous accidents by helping with blind spots, lack of vision, and speeding. This will keep drivers alert and keep vehicles on the road safe, preventing tragic or deadly accidents from occurring.
As of now, the U.S. Senate has not made any final decisions. It is not clear whether each proposal in the bill will be considered on its own or in entirety. It’s quite possible the U.S. Senate could rule in favor of some, but not all proposals.