I had planned to start this article with the sort of weak joke that we writers seem to find fun to write — something along the lines of ‘Removal Laws are Snow Joke’ — and give a light hearted look at some of the snow removal laws around the country. But, after doing just a few moments of research I realized just how inappropriate that would be. Some of these laws are pretty harsh and they are a big source of concern for the trucking industry, especially for drivers. Frankly, a great deal of the laws were written by people whose only experience with trucks is with the ones they tailgate on the turnpike. If any of these lawmakers knew what standing on top of a trailer after a snowstorm, broom and scraper in hand, was actually like, the laws would probably be a lot different.
However, as unpopular as these laws are, they are laws and the penalties for violating them can be tough. This is especially true when an accident is caused. Case in point, just a few days ago, a trucker in New Jersey got hauled in front of a judge after snow fell from his truck and injured a driver. With these laws in effect, it is important that drivers are aware of what they need to do.
Below is a list of states with Snow removal laws in place: Read more →
A few weeks ago, DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax #656 reported on the preliminary results of the National Transportation Safety Board’s lengthy investigation into a horrific crash that killed 10 people and injured six others. Last week, the families of eight of the victims reached a $62 million settlement agreement with a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver and his employer, a Kansas City, Kan., retailer owned grocery cooperative.
The June 26, 2009, accident was triggered by a minor accident that snarled traffic on an open stretch of highway near Miami, Okla. Traffic was backed up approximately 1,500 feet when a 40,000 pound truck traveling at 69 miles per hour with the cruise control engaged failed to stop, or even slow down, before colliding with the stopped cars. The driver, who plead guilty to 10 counts of negligent homicide, was sentenced to a year of probation for each count. During his first year of probation, he must spend 30 days in jail and wear an electronic monitoring device. Read more →
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is proposing more than a $1 million civil penalty against the Marathon Pipe Line Co. The agency has also issued a Compliance Order, which requires Marathon to submit the requested reports, develop procedures, and properly qualify company workers.
A recent PHMSA investigation of Marathon uncovered a variety of poor safety management practices, according to a released statement. The company is on the hook for what PHMSA calls “possible failures” to: Read more →