As Indiana truck accident lawyers, we have our reservations about the confirmation of Anne Ferro as chief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Ferro’s confirmation has been controversial, and truck accident attorneys, safety groups and accident survivor groups have their doubts about the good judgment in having a former trucking industry lobbyist leading the country’s premier commercial motor vehicle agency.
Ferro served six years as president of the Maryland Motor Truck Association.
It’s not just the lobbyist past that concerns Indiana truck accident attorneys. Ferro has also been a strong supporter of the 11-hour trucking rule that the Bush administration passed just before he vacated office. Trucking safety advocates and truck accident lawyers in Indiana and around the country have been strongly critical of the rule, which extended the number of consecutive hours a trucker can drive to 11, from the earlier 10.
The rule may translate into huge savings for the trucking industry, but places truckers at an increased risk of fatigue, and fatigue-related accidents. Fortunately, the FMCSA announced in October that it will review the 11-hour trucking rule, and come up with a new rule in a few months’ time. That announcement came just a few days before Ferro was confirmed as FMCSA chief.
As Indiana truck accident lawyers representing 18-wheeler crash survivors and families of truck accident victims around Indiana, we hope that Ferro will make decisions that are in the best interests of the millions of motorists who share the highways with these rigs every day. For starters, we would like Ferro to:
• Lower the Hours of Service rules for truckers to the earlier 10 hours.
• Mandate the installation of on-board recorders that measure the number of hours a trucker drives, thereby preventing him from driving longer than allowed.
• Mandate seat belts on motor coaches.
• Mandate tire pressure monitoring devices on trucks.
These are just a few of the recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board, but the FMCSA has chosen not to act on these suggestions. Ferro now has a golden opportunity to turn this situation around, and make our highways safer for all.