Does House Transportation Bill Give Truck Companies Pass to Hide Safety Records?

Dallas, Tx, 12/08/2015 /SubmitPressRelease123/

Texas truck wreck lawyers of 1800 Truck Wreck examines the implications of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 for trucking companies across the U.S.


Recently, a modified version of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in a 363-64 vote. The measure, which was introduced in the House by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), authorizes billions in spending on transportation projects over the course of six years among other things.


Source: Automotive Fleet “House Passes Highway Bill”


“The House of Representatives has passed its version of a highway bill— voting for it 363-64 in overwhelming bipartisan fashion. The legislation authorizes spending up to $325 billion on transportation projects over six years, including $261 billion on roads and bridges…As originally presented to the House, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act of 2015 (H.R. 3763) would have paid for only three years of funding. However, an amendment adopted at the last minute could provide another $40 billion of spending, according to published reports.”


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A Hidden Threat?


Although many are applauding the advancement of the bill, some say there are items contained therein that do far more than increase transportation spending. It’s passage according to some transportation safety advocates should be viewed as a potential threat to the safety of drivers and passengers due to an item that could allow truck companies to keep their safety records hidden from the public.


Source: House Surface Transportation Bill a Giveaway for Dangerous Truck Companies; Would Hide Safety Records From the Public


“Washington, DC—The following is a statement from American Association for Justice CEO Linda Lipsen in response to the introduction today of the “Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015” by Representative Bill Shuster, Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure:


“This bill is a giveaway to the most dangerous trucking companies. Nearly 4,000 people are killed each year in truck-involved crashes. But rather than improving safety, this bill lets dangerous truck companies hide their safety records from the public…Currently, freight brokers and shippers can assess the safety records of trucking companies and avoid hiring dangerous carriers, but under this bill the safety data would be made confidential for an indefinite period.”


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According to Texas truck accident lawyers of 1800TruckWreck certain provisions of the measure could also present roadblocks to individuals who have been injured in a truck accident when it comes to taking steps to hold trucking companies accountable for damages they may be liable for.


Says Witherite “not only does the measure include language that would make safety records of trucking companies less widely accessible, but could also stagnate the efforts of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) to finally update trucking company insurance requirements after over three decades.”


Witherite is among many who have long championed changes that would raise the minimum insurance requirements for commercial vehicle carriers, which is currently set at $750,000. This limits payouts for truck crash victims whose awarded damages exceed this amount. The Safe and Fair Environment on Highways Achieved through Underwriting Levels Act (H.R. 2730) or “A SAFE HAUL,” introduced by U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright in 2013, would force truck drivers to carry significantly more in insurance coverage. It is under review by Congress; however, as the Texas attorney points out, the STRR Act could prolong its advancement.


A similar version of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 was approved by the Senate in July. The two chambers must reconcile their differences in order for the measure to be finalized and sent to the president for approval. Many continue to await the outcome of the final bill and the possible changes passage of the measure will bring about.



Media Contact:


Lucy Tiseo

Eberstein Witherite LLP 1800TruckWreck

Phone: 866-774-5410

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