U.S. Senate Pushes Truck Safety Legislation

 

Notable Trucking Accidents, August 2011

There has been no shortage in the news lately of stories about commercial vehicles and truck accidents, so the U.S. Senate is pushing legislation that would give more power to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – and with good reason.

From commuter buses to big rigs to dump trucks, these are just some of the vehicles that have been involved in serious accidents, all of which caused injuries.

Here are a few of the most notable accidents as of August 2011:

  • A wayward dump truck. 56-year-old Robert Legall hung halfway out the fifth story of a building for a half hour – inside the cab of his New York City dump truck – before a cherry-picker crew rescued him. “The vehicle accelerated and, the next thing we know, was heading two-thirds of the way outside of the building,” sanitation department employee Vito Turso said, as reported by the International Business Times. No one is sure how it happened, but it did, as Legall was driving the dump truck to a service bay located on the fifth floor.
  • Waking up next to a big rig. 53-year-old Vernon Helton of Ohio was presumably enjoying peaceful early morning sleep when a car pulled out in front of an oncoming big rig. The big rig hit the car and ricocheted through the bedroom wall of Helton’s ground-floor apartment. “I was sleeping,” Helton says, according to Firehouse.com. “Next thing I know a bunch of debris is coming down on me pinning my leg.”
  • Commuter bus roll-overs. Another large passenger bus from New York rolled over onto its side and injured several of the passengers; one passenger was apparently thrown from the bus and lay trapped under it. This accident is reminiscent of one that occurred in March – a bus on its way to Chinatown in New York City rolled over and was sheared in half by a pole, killing 15 people, as Howard Portnoy reports for the Examiner.com.

If the new truck safety legislation passes, the FMCSA would get expanded power, including the power to revoke a trucking company’s registration due to safety violations, even if the company assumes a different business name and re-registers for business.

Sources:

International Business Times, “New York City Dump Truck Crashes Through Wall, Dangles 30 Feet Above Ground,” 08/17/11

Firehouse.com, “Semi Smashes Into Ohio Apartment Building,” 08/12/11

Examiner.com, “25 injured when bus from NY flips over,” by Howard Portnoy, 08/13/11

Truckinginfo.com, “Senate Highway Reauthorization Draft Addresses Truck Safety Issues,” by Oliver B. Patton, 08/19/11

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