That question has baffled trucking industry watchers for more than two decades, but it was made moot by one stroke of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration pen recently.
The FMCSA eliminated 10-day extensions that were commonly given to carriers found to be in violation of safety regulations. In short, the new ruling tells safety violators to move quickly when showing they’ve changed their ways.
In 1990, federal law established that carriers in violation of safety rules could be required to shut down after 45 days unless the carrier was able to demonstrate that corrective actions were taken. A year later, a provision to that law allowed carriers a 10-day extension if the FMCSA was unable to make a determination after 45 days.
With the 10-day extension gone, carriers are now encouraged to submit evidence of their corrective action more quickly, within two weeks of being cited. Carriers that drag their feet in providing such evidence run the risk of the FMCSA not having time to make a determination, and ultimately to being shut down.
It’s a bold move by the FMCSA, but a necessary one. While some might argue that it gives the government agency too much power, it puts the onus back on trucking companies that have been cited.
Truck accident attorney Michael Leizerman literally wrote the book on truck accident litigation when he penned the three-volume treatise “Litigating Truck Accident Cases.” If you are an attorney representing a client in a complex case involving a tractor-trailer or semi-truck accident, call Michael at 419-243.1010.