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Safety criticism leveled at FMCSA: shore up inspection program

It’s certainly singular for our personal injury legal blog to put a glaring spotlight on any entity or subject matter for two consecutive posts, but such is the outcome achieved with today’s entry.

The back-to-back focus of our post today is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is the focal point of some recent safety-related criticisms levied by one player in the commercial transport industry.

That actor, TransComply, is a firm that assists smaller-sized truck companies seeking to stay abreast of and in compliance with various regulatory exactions.

As we noted in our immediately preceding blog post, those exactions are many and complex. Moreover, our March 4 entry stresses that their enforcement — at least in terms of what is seen and dictated by safety inspectors conducting roadside inspections across the country pursuant to FMCSA dictates — might be problematic. Last week’s post notes the concern that so many exemptions exist to complicate inspections and overwhelm inspectors that some glaring deficiencies might pass undetected, with ominous implications for public safety.

And now, immediately upon the heels of that stated concern, comes another FMCSA-targeted criticism, namely this: TransComply states that the inspection program has been undercut by the FMCSA pulling back on it in recent years.

The FMCSA states that its inspection regime has saved many thousands of lives. TransComply concedes that, but adds that the program’s effectiveness has nonetheless been diluted by a material cutback of safety inspections in recent years.

TransComply calls that “alarming,” and says that the agency now “has only limited tools to do anything about it.”

State and federal officials are always, and for obvious reasons, focused deeply upon the nation’s commercial transport industry and ways to optimally promote safety on American roadways. The roadside inspection program continues to be a core topic of concern and discussion.


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