Louisiana motorists may be dismayed to learn that improvements to road safety regulations proposed by agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can sometimes take years to implement. The approval process can be frustratingly slow, and the Department of Transportation releases an update each month that contains revised publication and implementation dates for pending regulatory changes. A 2016 update reveals that two long awaited regulatory improvements have been delayed once again.
According to the DOT update, the publication date for a rule change designed to reduce impaired driving has been moved from April 18 to July 28. The FMCSA proposed the change in February 2014. The proposal calls for a countrywide database of commercial vehicle drivers who either failed a toxicology test or refused to provide a sample to be tested. Under the proposed rule, employers would be required to update the database every year and consult the list before hiring drivers.
A proposed rule change that would require heavy trucks to have speed limiters fitted was also delayed. The proposal was scheduled to be released by the Office of Management and Budget on April 22 before being published on April 28, but these firm dates have been replaced by the less specific spring 2016 in the latest DOT update. Commercial vehicles weighing more than 27,000 pounds would be required to have the limiters installed. The proposal was sent to the OMB in May 2015.
Many people are unfortunately familiar with the human toll that reckless and impaired driving can take. Those injured in a truck accident may pursue civil remedies when negligence was a contributing factor, and attorneys may initiate lawsuits on their behalf against the truck driver or the truck driver's employer.