By Richard Shapiro, Virginia Trucking Injury Lawyer
A US Senate bill introduced last month would mandate hourly wages for tractor trailer drivers, and also boost minimum levels of insurance.
The Trucker Safety Act was brought to the Senate floor by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). The bill also would require collision avoidance systems and truck speed limiters.
Booker stated: ““Truck drivers work extremely long days to deliver the goods we depend on and keep our economy moving, but too often this comes at the expense of their safety and the safety of other drivers. We can significantly reduce the number of accidents on our nation’s highways by harnessing new technologies, and better protect victims of truck accidents by raising insurance minimums for trucks that haven’t changed in over 30 years.”
Specific provisions of the proposed Truck Safety Act are:
- Minimum insurance: Would be increased from $750,000 to $1.5 million.
- Collision avoidance: Rulemaking would be started that would require all commercial vehicles to include these systems.
- Speed limiters: The Secretary of Transportation would finalize regulations that would mandate trucks to have devices to limit top speed.
- Driver pay: Truck drivers would have to be compensated for total hours worked, not per mile.
- Excessive commute study: Study would be done on how excessive commuting to work affects truck drivers.
Truck safety advocates praised the bill, stating that it would raise the bar for truck safety across the US.
Our Virginia trucking injury lawyers have long advocated for more truck safety regulations that would better safeguard the public from dangerous truckers and trucking companies. Speeding, lack of sleep, and pressure to make money per mile all are factors that often lead to fatal wrecks. It was truck driver fatigue that allegedly led to the tractor trailer wreck last year that left comedian Tracey Morgan with a debilitating traumatic brain injury.