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FMCSA is targeting unsafe bus and trucking companies

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) often takes an extraordinarily long time to accomplish any sort of safety-related effort with finality. This significant lag time is not necessarily the FMCSA's fault. When it is either charged with action by Congress and when it takes initiative of its own volition, there are numerous regulatory and administrative hoops it must hurdle through before its initiatives can be officially instituted.

Thankfully, one of the FMCSA's recent important efforts has finally been handed down as an official regulation. This important development concerns the ability of the FMCSA to temporarily and to permanently suspend the operations of bus companies and trucking companies which have a patterned history of serious safety violations.

While this rule may seem only to affect the scope of the FMCSA's authority, it will likely have real-world consequences. Specifically, it will be easier for the FMCSA to affect the rates of trucking accidents and bus accidents that occur annually in the U.S. if the FMCSA has real authority to shut dangerous carriers down.

Numerous safety advocates have long been frustrated with the FMCSA's inability to react aggressively to repeat safety violators. Partially in reaction to this frustration, Congress instructed the FMCSA to pass these regulations in legislation signed into law back in 2012. Given how long it usually takes the FMCSA to hand down final rules, this latest effort did not end up taking terribly long at all. And in the end, this expansion of FMCSA authority is a welcome development, even if it is a bit overdue.

Source: MyFoxPhilly.com, "Shutting down unsafe bus companies to get easier," Joan Lowy, Jan. 17, 2014

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