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Data Recorders Could Reduce Risk of Houston Tractor-Trailer Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed a new rule that would require Interstate truckers to utilize data recorders in tracking hours-of-service compliance, a long-overdue move that could reduce the risk of Houston tractor-trailer accidents caused by tired truckers.

Houston personal injury attorneys understand the extreme risk posed by tired truckers on the road. As we reported recently on our Houston Injury Lawyer Blog, the government is making changes to the hours-of-service regulations in an effort to make highways safer for the motoring public.
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The rules govern how many hours a day and days per week a trucker can spend behind the wheel. But the system has long been criticized for the antiquated way in which compliance is monitored, which includes hand-written log books, toll receipts and other so-called “proof.” When combined with the fact that truckers are typically paid by the mile, the system has been a recipe for thousands of serious and fatal traffic accidents involving over-worked truck drivers.

“We cannot protect our roadways when commercial truck and bus companies exceed hours-of-service rules,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This proposal would make our roads safer by ensuring that carriers traveling across state lines are using EOBRs to track the hours their drivers spend behind the wheel.”

Organizations life Road Safe America have long advocated for data recorders similar to the black boxes used on airlines. However, the recorders have only been mandated for drivers or carriers who have previously been caught violating hours-of-service rules.

The new proposal would impact 500,000 carriers nationwide. Violators would face fines of up to $11,000 per occurrence.

“This proposal is an important step in our efforts to raise the safety bar for commercial carriers and drivers,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “We believe broader use of EOBRs would give carriers and drivers an effective tool to strengthen their HOS compliance.”

If you have been involved in an accident in the Houston area, contact The Stephens Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Houston Injury Attorney Joe Stephens has nearly three decades of experience representing personal injury and wrongful death cases.

A Personal Injury Trial Law Specialist through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1993, Attorney Stephens has won multiple verdicts over $1 million and is a Million Dollar Advocates Member. He is also the author of The Texas Accident Bible, A Survivor’s Legal Guide, and Hiring the Right Injury Lawyer.

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