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Bentonville, Arkansas

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Frank Bailey
Frank Bailey
Contributor •

Trucking Accidents and Safety Standards

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We know that almost 5,000 people are killed each year in big truck wrecks. In this part of Arkansas we have even more big truck wrecks due to the growth of our area and the nature of local businesses. Because of their size, crashes involving commercial trucks are devastating to pedestrians and occupants of smaller vehicles.

The consumer protection group Public Citizen works for improved oversight of our nation’s commercial truck fleet; more consistent enforcement of current laws governing truck safety; and general consumer protection from dangers. We have found that the larger carriers have a much safer track record than the small operators. In a recent case, we found the fifth axle had no brakes at all and the steering column was held on to the universal joint with a radiator hose clamp and a bunge cord!

Unfortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency created by Congress to improve the safety of commercial motor vehicles has not kept up with the deadlines that were set by Congress for a host of of vital safety standards. Public Citizen and other safety advocates sued the government to enforce these standards, some of which are more than a decade late, and won.

Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT) has a website filled with vital information. I urge everyone to support this group and make our highways safer.