How many large commercial trucks passed you on your way to or from work today? When a tractor trailer rumbles past you on the Baltimore Beltway or other Maryland highway, you probably don't think much about the driver's condition or the vehicle's maintenance record. You just assume the driver has had enough sleep and the truck itself is in good working order.
However the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does think about and regulate such highway driving safety issues.
The ability of big rig drivers to safely pilot large cargo-hauling trucks for long hours -- and the sound mechanical repair and maintenance of the trucks themselves -- directly impact the safety of both commercial truck drivers and the motorists who share the roads with them. This month, a Maryland trucking firm was ordered to cease operations immediately due to potential safety hazards.
The FMCSA issued a press release on Nov. 16, 2011, citing "Maryland-based Gunthers Transport, LLC an imminent hazard to public safety." The agency ordered the trucking company to immediately cease all transportation services, issuing an "imminent hazard out-of-service order against Gunthers following an exhaustive review of the company’s operations, which found multiple hours-of-service and vehicle maintenance violations."
As an experienced Baltimore County truck accident lawyer knows from work with clients in Maryland -- a commercial truck accident can be disastrous. The sheer size of these highway giants puts other motorists at a serious disadvantage when a commercial truck traffic accident with passenger cars occurs.
The FMCSA order to the Maryland trucking company prohibits them from operating within or outside the state of Md. The agency investigation cited the company for violations in several safety categories, including Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving, Driver Fitness, and Vehicle Maintenance.
Maryland work injury attorneys are familiar with Md. Workers Comp cases where drivers of commercial vehicles are injured during the course of their jobs. The U.S. Department of Transportation regulates how many hours commercial truck drivers may work before they are required to log out and take a break. This is not only for their own safety but for those of the driving public who share the highways, city streets and back roads with them.
The Baltimore Sun reported that federal transportation authorities only occasionally issue orders for a company to cease operation due to safety infractions. In addition, the Sun reported that the Maryland trucking company in question had been under investigation by the Federal authorities for two years. The Sun cites a case in 1995 where the truck company president had been fined $170K and ordered to 30 mos. in prison due to falsifying records.
Related Maryland Injury Attorney articles:
Maryland Trucking Company Declared "Imminent Hazard to the Public," Ordered to Immediately Cease Operations
FMCSA Press Release Nov. 16, 2011
Md. trucking firm called 'imminent hazard,' ordered off roads
The Baltimore Sun Nov. 16, 2011
Maryland trucking firm called ‘imminent hazard,’ shut down
Fleet Owner Nov. 22, 2011