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Would acknowledgment of safety measures reduce truck accidents?

The presence of large trucks on our nation’s roads has many ramifications—both good and bad. In addition to transporting the goods that so many of us rely upon, their presence could also result in an accident occurring. To try to keep these incidents to a minimum, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration creates regulations that are designed to make the use of these vehicles as safe as possible. While such regulations often focus on penalties for failing to comply with the rules, the FMCSA is considering a different approach.

The agency is currently seeking public comments on a program it calls “Beyond Compliance.” The idea behind the program is that in the process of evaluating a truck company’s safety program, it will take into consideration any proactive state-of-the-art technologies or best practices that a motor carrier may have implemented that go beyond the regulatory requirements already in place. In addition, they should result in both a reduction of the number of crashes that occur as well as the severity.

During the comment period the agency is specifically seeking feedback on what would constituted a qualifying program, how the existence of such programs would be verified, how the success of such programs should be measured, incentives that should be in place to encourage carrier participation, when the incentives could be removed and whether the public or private sector should develop the program.

Whether the proposed program will come to fruition remains to be seen. While it makes sense that the implementation of safety protocols would help to reduce the number of truck accidents that occur, its effectiveness will be unknown unless it is adopted. We will provide relevant updates on the matter as they become available.

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