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Trump Cuts Safety Rules Designed to Protect Workers and Prevent Truck, Bus and Train Accidents

Truck Accident Attorney | Bus Accident Attorney | Train Accident Attorney

During its first year, the Trump Administration has eliminated a number of critical safety and regulatory protections designed to protect workers, prevent fatal bus and truck accidents, detect sleep disorders that cause commercial drivers to get behind the wheel while fatigued, and reduce the number of catastrophic plant and refinery explosions.

Here’s an overview of some of the most damaging (and dangerous) safety cutbacks:

Trump Administration Repeals Over 1 Dozen Safety Regulations Designed to Prevent Commercial Truck and Bus Accidents

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Department of Transportation repealed, delayed or withdrew at least a dozen safety regulations during Trump’s first year in office.

While the regulatory purge was cheered on by industry groups, many critics fear that the rollback has made the nation’s roads and railways far less safe.

“These rules have been written in blood,” John Risch, national legislative director for the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.

“But we’re in a new era now of little-to-no new regulations no matter how beneficial they might be. The focus is what can we repeal and rescind.”

Trump Tables Regulation that Would Use Software to Limit Truck & 18 Wheeler Maximum Speeds

Roughly 1,100 people are killed every year in high speed crashes (over 55 mph) involving heavy trucks and 18 wheelers.

To help prevent additional fatalities, a regulation was proposed that, according to studies by the Department of Transportation, would have saved approximately 500 lives every year by requiring heavy trucks and 18 wheelers to be outfitted with software that could electronically monitor and, when necessary, limit speeds.

But at the urging of the American Trucking Association—a special interest/lobbying group funded by large trucking companies—President Trump removed the proposed regulation from consideration.

Trucking Industry Successfully Eliminates Regulation that Would Require Trucks & Trains Hauling Flammable and Hazardous Cargo to be Outfitted with Improved Braking System

Pressure from the trucking industry also prompted the Trump Administration to repeal a 2015 regulation that required trucks and trains that haul crude oil and other hazardous cargo to be outfitted with Advanced Braking Systems.

John Risch, the Director of the Safety Group, SMART Transportation, told the Associated Press that these improved brakes are designed to prevent incidents like the 2013 train derailment in Lac Megantic, Canada, that killed 47 people.

The rule’s repeal, according to Risch, represents the abandonment of “the greatest safety advancement I’ve witnessed in my 41 years in the industry.”

Trump Administration Abandons Sleep Apnea Screening Rules for Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers

The Administration also recently withdrew a proposed rule that would have required commercial bus and truck drivers, who are substantially more likely to suffer from untreated sleep disorders, to undergo screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnea and other sleep disorders that are often to blame for the thousands of fatigue-related collisions every year.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, Obstructive Sleep Apnea – which is characterized by the repeated disruption of sleep during the night and daytime drowsiness – has been linked to numerous accidents, including two recent commuter train crashes in the New York area and a Greyhound bus crash that resulted in the largest fatigue-related settlement in the company’s history.

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