Jackson, MS- As Congress continues to ease up trucking safety regulations, transportation officials in Mississippi are urging the Senate to reject a proposal that would allow larger and more dangerous commercial trucks on the road.
In a letter sent to Senator Tom Cochran, three of Mississippi’s elected transportation commissioners urged the lawmaker kill a proposal in the $53 billion transportation bill that would allow shipping companies to haul two 33-foot trailers at once.
Under current regulations, trucks are allowed to haul two 28 foot trailers in tandem, but shipping companies say they aren’t large enough.
FedEx and other shipping companies argue that with increased internet shopping and the pressure to cut costs they need larger trucks, adding that allowing them to use large trucks would reduce the number of tractor-trailers on the road, according to the Jackson Clarion Ledger.
But Central Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall, who signed the letter sent to Senator Cochran, doesn’t care about FedEx’s or another company’s bottom line, he cares about the motorists. He said, according to the Clarion Ledger, “I’m a whole lot more interested in the safety of Mississippi’s drivers than I am the financial welfare of a national corporation.”
According to Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, research shows that double-trailer trucks have a 15 percent higher crash rate than single-trailer trucks. She says that trucks hauling double trailers are harder to stop and control.
Senator Cochran hasn’t hinted if he will approve of this rider and other trucking safety rollbacks tacked onto the transportation bills. At the behest of trucking lobbyists, lawmakers have included a rider that suspends hours-of-service rules aimed at preventing fatigued trucking accidents and another would prohibit federal agencies from increasing the minimum insurance requirements companies are required to carry—that amount hasn’t increased in nearly three decades.
“This is the most aggressive attack on safety I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said Gillian when the transportation bill was introduced in early May.
Sadly, these reversals of trucking safety regulations come at time when fatal truck accidents have risen. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal truck accidents increased .05 percent in 2013, so we should be making safety regulations tougher not loosening them.
If you have been harmed or lost a love one because of an oversized truck, you need to speak with a Mississippi truck accident attorney immediately. By getting legal representation early on, you will increase your chances of getting a favorable settlement and avoid pitfalls many accident victims encounter when they don’t have an attorney speaking for them.
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