Many factors contribute to trucking accidents. Recognizing this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed an expansion of its scope to cover shippers, brokers and receivers.
The proposed “Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 2011-2016 Strategic Plan: Raising the Safety Bar” describes a “holistic view of safety” in the “commercial motor vehicle transportation life-cycle.” It seeks to ensure safety “in every aspect of the CMV transportation system from warehouse to boardroom.”
If approved by Congress, the plan would give the FMCSA more comprehensive authority to safeguard the nation’s roads — by regulating not just trucks and buses but also those entities that may drive motor carriers to take on unsafe loads, whether by overloading trucks, setting unrealistic deadlines, or making other hazardous demands.
According to the FMCSA draft, “The CMV transportation life-cycle concept encompasses the whole CMV transportation system, including all the entities that control or influence the operation of CMVs, and focuses on the specific responsibilities that all parties involved in the transport and logistics supply chain have for making improvements in any number of safety factors …. All entities in the CMV transportation life-cycle need to be aware of their impact on roadway safety and take responsibility for that impact.”
I have spoken about this issue to lawyers across the country. Also, the 2011 update of my book, Litigating Truck Accident Cases, will include a full update on shipper and broker liability.
The agency is accepting public comments on the long-term plan though July 29.
If you think you may have a case involving a truck or trucking accident, I am available for consultations on all trucking litigation matters. Please contact me at [email protected] or call me at 1-800-628-4500.