On the first Friday in July, the first step towards greater safety for truck drivers, and greater protection against truck drivers for other road users, was taken. New legislation – the Truck Safety Act (S. 1739) — was proposed to the United States Senate by a New Jersey senator. It is envisaged that the enactment of the act will, among other things, help reduce truck accidents across the country.
One cannot disregard the important role truck drivers play in the U.S. economy, but very often what is required of them to fulfill the need for goods by U.S citizens places them and other road users at risk. The newly introduced legislation focuses on safety and protection of all road users. One change included in the proposed act is to change the way truck drivers are paid.
It is suggested that the Secretary of Transportation orders that truckers are paid for the hours they work as opposed to being compensated per mile driven. Other changes include making it mandatory for trucks to be equipped with crash avoidance systems and devices that limit speed. It is also suggested that a study is done on truck drivers into the effects of commuting over long distances between work and home.
Supporters of the proposed legislation believes that the enactment of the legislation will lead to fewer truck accidents. However, accidents are still bound to happen. New Jersey victims seriously injured in an accident that can be attributed to the negligence of another driver have the choice to file a personal injury claim, while the legal estate of a deceased victim may choose to file a wrongful death claim. Financial damages may be awarded in successfully litigated claims, which may help a family overcome the unexpected effects of an accident.
Source: truckinginfo.com, “Senate Bill Calls for Hourly Pay for Truck Drivers“, Deborah Lockridge, July 13, 2015