In Denver, Greenwood Village and Steamboat Springs Colorado, most drivers know that if they violate the rules of the road, there is a significant risk they will be stopped and cited by law enforcement officers. When it comes to truckers, however, there is less of a chance that a law enforcement officer will pull over a commercial driver for violations of federal and state safety rules. Many safety experts and trucking industry groups including the American Trucking Association think that this is a problem.
A truck accident lawyer knows that truck crashes are often among the deadliest collisions because of the large size of commercial motor vehicles. Preventing truck crashes needs to be a top priority, which means that police need to be able to play an effective role in ensuring that all truckers follow safety rules. To help ensure that can happen, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will be working on law enforcement training. As Heavy Duty Trucking Reports, the FMCSA has created new curriculum and training programs for police to better understand the role that they can play in stopping trucks on the roads.
Police to Undergo FMCSA Training
The FMCSA indicates there are many reasons why local law enforcement officers tend to be reluctant to pull over truck drivers and enforce the rules applicable to commercial vehicles.
One issue is that law enforcement officers may have safety concerns about a traffic stop with a large truck. However, the biggest issue is that law enforcement officers often do not know or understand all of the rules applicable to truck drivers. Without the confidence to make a determination on whether a trucker is fully in compliance or not, police officers often simply avoid pulling the trucker over. This has serious consequences for road safety not only because violations aren’t identified but because truckers who know there is less risk of being pulled over for violations may have more incentive to skirt the law and think they can get away with it.
Even when police do pull truck drivers over, they may not be aware of the protocols for completing all of the paperwork and steps necessary to have information about violations entered into federal databases. Federal databases track violations so they can identify high-risk truckers and motor carrier companies that routinely violate safety rules.
Hopefully, the new training will solve some of these problems by providing more information to police officers both about what they should look for when pulling trucks over and about how to respond to violations that occur. The FMCSA’s new training course is called the Large Truck and Bus Traffic Enforcement Train the Trainer Course, and became available in mid-February. It is also expected to be presented at a National Symposium on Work Zones and Large trucks that will take place in April.
Since some studies suggest that traffic stops combined with limited inspections may be much better at reducing violations than roadside inspections, the release of the new FMCSA training course could be an important step forward in the fight to reduce truck accident injuries and fatalities.
Contact Bell & Pollock at (877) 744-5900 or visit http://www.bellpollockinjury.com to schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Denver, Greenwood Village and Steamboat Springs Colorado.