Feds Move to Help Truckers Pressured to Violate Safety Regs

The Department of Transportation (DOT) moved Monday to crack down on trucking firms who press their drivers to skirt safety rules.

The proposed rule is the latest in a series of steps by the Obama administration to tamp down on dangerous practices in the trucking industry.

Last year, the agency enacted regulations further limiting the hours big rig drivers can spend behind the wheel in a given week.

The rule unveiled Monday takes aim at companies that encourage truckers to ignore the more stringent standards, and it follows hundreds of whistleblower complaints made to the Transportation Department in recent years.

“Economic pressure in the motor carrier industry affects commercial drivers in ways that can affect safety adversely,” the agency contends in a notice set to be published in Tuesday’s installment of the Federal Register.

“For years, drivers have voiced concerns that other parties in the logistics chain are frequently indifferent to the operational limits imposed on them by the [regulations].”