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Pity truckers for all the safety rules they face? Um, no

If you read some of the publications for the trucking industry, you will find there is a definite contingent of over-the-road haulers out there that feels they are among the great oppressed. Some of them are in Texas.

Many of these men and women feel that they are victims of onerous government regulation that prevents them from doing as well as they might economically. Some of the companies that employ them think the same way. If the government just left them alone, they could make their own decisions and succeed or fail on their own merits.

But economic forces have a way of negatively influencing decisions. It’s something we alluded to in a post just last month. In that item we reflected on how a recent safety inspection blitz revealed that found that more than 20 percent of some 45,000 vehicles examined had maintenance violations that should have kept them off the road. And 3.6 percent of drivers had records that should have disqualified them from working.

There are a lot of safety rules that truckers have to follow. But they are in force for a reason. They are intended to reduce the serious or fatal injuries that so often result when commercial trucks are involved in accidents.

But truck maintenance issues aren’t the only ones that pose a threat. Driver health is a big regulatory concern, too. And as a recent story shows, the financial and regulatory rules can sometimes push individuals to make dangerous decisions.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a Georgia driver is now banned from interstate hauling as a threat to public safety because of his health issues.

This action follows an accident back in July in which the man suffered an undisclosed medical problem that resulted in a crash with a parked car. No one was injured. The trucker did lose his job, but he got another one right away and drove until September. That’s when it was discovered that he had falsified the record of his medical condition in his job application.

Regulators were able to stop this driver before something dire occurred. But that isn’t always the case. When accidents do occur because of another driver’s negligence, victims need to know of their right to seek compensation.