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DOT delays proposed rules for trucking industry again

Two proposed trucking industry regulations, which would affect drivers in California and around the country, have been delayed again. The rules have yet to be finalized. One would mandate that carriers install speed limiters on all trucks weighing more than 27,000 pounds. The other would require carriers to annually report truckers that fail or refuse to submit to alcohol or drug tests.

The proposed speed limiter mandate was sent to the White House's Office of Management and Budget in May 2015. It has languished since that time, and no new projected date for finalization have been issued, although it is expected to be sometime in the spring.

The rule regarding drug and alcohol testing is now scheduled to be sent to the White House on May 6. The Department of Transportation states that the final rule should then be published by Aug. 16. In addition to the annual reporting requirements, the rule would also require carriers to check the database before making hiring decisions.

While the many regulations governing the trucking industry may seem onerous, they are in place for good reasons. Trucks are much heavier than other vehicles on the road and consequently can cause much greater damage when they are involved in accidents. With the regulations, the government is attempting to reduce the risk that a commercial truck driver will cause an accident that could potentially be deadly. Trucker negligence can take multiple forms, including driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A person who is injured in a crash caused by such a driver may want to have legal help when seeking compensation from the negligent driver and, if appropriate, the trucking company itself.

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