Trucking Industry Readies for Unified Registration System

Any effort to get “chameleon” commercial carriers off the road has my support. And because of that, I stand fully behind the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s pending Unified Registration System.

The URS aims, in part, to keep better tabs of commercial carriers who are cited as “out-of-service” for repeat violations, only to resurface under a different company name. These “chameleon” carriers are a primary target of the FMCSA program that will alter the way all motor carriers and brokers are tracked by the federal government.

The push to eliminate scofflaw carriers is somewhat personal to me. It was only a year ago that I handled a case that shined a light on the damage that “chameleon” carriers can inflict. In that case, an Oregon jury awarded my clients a $5.2 million verdict, but the accident that led to the case could have been avoided had the driver with the checkered driving past been identified and kept from the roads.

The URS takes a large stride toward doing just that. The proposal is currently in front of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and final wording of the new registration system is expected sometime this summer. I’m anxious to read the proposal in its entirety, but I am encouraged by the few details that have emerged. According to Transport Topics, the FMCSA proposes that the systems used for tracking identification, registration and financial responsibility be combined into one online system. Registrants would be required to update their information every two years.

In addition to taking aim at “chameleon” carriers, the URS also proposes that private carriers who haul hazardous materials interstate be required to show that they meet financial standards to do so.

Look for final verbiage of the Unified Registration System sometime in the next few months, and look for big changes in the commercial trucking industry soon thereafter.

Attorney Michael Leizerman has represented truck accident victims in legal cases across the country. If you or a family member has been injured in a crash with a commercial vehicle, contact an attorney who is experienced in making sure that all responsible parties are held accountable. Contact Michael at 800-628-4500. 

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