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Federal regulators accused of ignoring unsafe trucking operations

The federal agency charged with regulating the safety of commercial bus and trucking operations has been accused of ignoring unsafe conditions. This, it is charged, were among the factors that may have resulted in as many as four recent serious accidents involving commercial vehicles. Those accidents resulted in 25 deaths and 83 injuries, some very serious. Many people die or are maimed each year in these and another commercial Ohio truck accidents.

The charges were leveled by one federal agency against another. The National Transportation Safety Board issued a severe criticism of the actions - or inactions - of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is supposed to inspect and regulate commercial trucking and bus operators to avoid just such accidents. An audit of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was called for, along with a recommendation that the agency try more to crack down on unsafe operations before tragic accidents happen rather than trying to clean up after there are already pools of blood on the highway.

That agency has only been in existence since 2000. It is supposed to try to reduce fatalities and injuries from bus and truck accidents. The agency claims to have tripled the number of unsafe operators taken off the road in the past three years, but the recent criticism suggests that these efforts are not enough.

Truck accidents often lead to extremely serious injuries or death, in part because of the great weight of trucking vehicles and their cargos. Federal regulators should do the job that they are supposed to do and act now to prevent additional tragic deaths and injuries impacting on innocent victims and their families.

USA Today, "NTSB: Fed agency let risky truck, bus carriers operate" Larry Copeland, Nov. 07, 2013

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