Monthly Archives: August 2009

Trucking companies responsible for making sure employees follow safety rules

As a trucking safety attorney in Georgia, I sometimes find trucking companies trying to disown their driver’s safety violations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which are designed to protect safety of members of the public, clearly require trucking companies to require their employees to obey the driver regulations.
49 C.F.R. § 390.11 requires: “Whenever . . . … Continue Reading

Ignorance of trucking rules is no excuse

You may have heard that "ignorance of the law is no excuse." 
That is clearly true in the interstate commercial trucking context.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations say that in three different ways.
49 C.F.R. § 390.3(e) requires that "Every employer shall be knowledgeable of and comply with all
regulations contained in this subchapter which are applicable to … Continue Reading

Causal link between violation of trucking safety rules and truck crashes

In order to use Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation violations to support liability or punitive damages, it is essential to establish that the violation was a proximate cause of the crash.
Some judges don’t easily grasp the obvious connection between extreme driver fatigue and driver error. For example, in one Georgia case the court failed to … Continue Reading

History of federal statutes dealing with interstate trucking

A basic understanding of the history of federal motor carrier regulation is helpful for
comprehension of the current regulatory structure.

Motor Carrier Act of 1935. Arising from the combination of increasing motor transport of freight and the trauma of the Great Depression, the Motor Carrier Act of 1935 focused primarily on financial stability of motor carriers, but … Continue Reading

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations set minimum national safety standards for trucking

The framers of the U. S. Constitution recognized in 1787 that no individual state could adequate deal with regulation of interstate commerce, so that was made one of the core functions of the federal government along with national defense and a few others.
The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution provides that any state law that conflicts … Continue Reading

Georgia State Patrol faces budget cut

As a trucking and auto safety attorney in Atlanta, and as a former prosecutor, I have developed a strong appreciation for the competence and professionalism of the Georgia State Patrol.
Now the state’s budget crisis is impacting the GSP’s capacity to cover the rural areas of our state.
According to a report by Rhonda Cook in the Atlanta … Continue Reading

Safersys a valuable resource in trucking litigation is a web site maintained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Through this site, one may obtain extensive basic information about motor carriers within moments after learning of the potential case. A “Carrier Snapshot” search includes the company’s legal name, address, phone number, USDOT number, numbers of power units and drivers, inspection and … Continue Reading