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Government aims to Reduce Risk of Tennessee Tractor-Trailer Accidents

Our Tennessee tractor trailer accident attorneys are encouraged by the recent introduction of the new Compliance, Safety, and Accountability program by the government.

The new program will help improve safety for commercial trucks and buses.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration launched the Safety Measurement System (SMS) to measure a carrier’s on-road performance. The system tracks safety-based violations, inspections and crash data.

The Obama Administration also worked to ensure a more user-friendly format for consumers to obtain the information regarding which carriers pose a safety threat.

“The CSA program will help us more easily identify unsafe commercial truck and bus companies,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Better data and targeted enforcement will raise the safety bar for commercial carriers and empower them to take action before safety problems occur.”

The SMS consists of seven safety improvement categories, referred to as BASICs, which measure a carrier’s on-road performance and possible risk of a crash. The categories are: unsafe driving, fatigued driving due to the number of hours on duty, driver health and well-being, controlled alcohol or substance abuse, maintenance of vehicle, cargo, and crash indicators.

The premise behind the program is to detect issues based on the BASICs so that safety issues and prevention can then be addressed. Identifying carriers with a high-risk under these categories is only half the battle. The information then needs to be given to the carriers so that an intervention can be started and unsafe practices can be changed. Possible mediations may include designated roadside inspections or early warning letters to deficient carriers.

The following are a few facts regarding the CSA program:

-FMCSA controls all carriers over 10,000 pounds and/or that carry hazardous waste materials on the interstate.

-Drivers who receive a warning or ticket with their own personal vehicle are not reflected on the SMS.

-Carriers who are looking to hire new drivers can review driver profiles as long as they have the driver’s permission.

-Newly hired drivers do not pass on previous violations to their new carrier. Only new violations by drivers are applied to a carrier’s SMS record.

-There are no current rules in the CSA program that prejudice against drivers with weight issues or a large body mass index.

-There is no registration or mandatory training required for the CSA program.

The government took a step forward in improving commercial truck and bus safety with the CSA program. Increasing carriers’ awareness of the program is the next step to making the highways safer.

If you are someone you know have been injured in a Tennessee trucking accident, contact the Hartsoe Law Firm to discuss your case. For a free case evaluation call 1-877-472-5657.

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