A dozen transportation safety rules under development or already adopted have been repealed, withdrawn, delayed, or put on the back burner since President Donald J. Trump took office in 2017, according to the Associated Press. There have also been no significant new safety rules approved since 2017.
The rules that have been stalled would have required states to conduct annual inspections of commercial bus operators; railroads to operate trains with at least two crew members; and automakers to equip future cars and light trucks with vehicle-to-vehicle communications aimed at preventing collisions.
The rollbacks begin on safety regulations
President Trump has sought to eliminate regulations throughout government, viewing them as unnecessary restraints on economic growth, according to USA Today. He has ordered that, for every new regulation issued, two must be identified for elimination. “These rules have been written in blood,’’ said John Risch, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers’ legislative director. “But we’re in a new era now of little-to-no new regulations no matter how beneficial they might be.’’
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) claims it can reduce regulations without affecting safety and questions the effectiveness of some proposed regulations but declined interview requests from the Associated Press. Instead, the department provided a statement from James Owens, the department’s general counselor. He said that new administrations usually take “a fresh look” at regulations, including those that are the costliest.
One rule proposed by DOT in 2016 would require new heavy trucks to have software that electronically limits their speeds. The government didn’t designate a top speed but said it had studied speeds at 60, 65 and 68 miles per hour. DOT believes the new speed limits set to pass two years ago would have saved as many as 498 lives a year and produced a net cost savings to the country of $475 million to nearly $5 billion annually, depending on the speed the government selected.
The proposal was also expected to solve another problem: Most heavy truck tires aren’t designed to go over 75 mph, but some states have speed limits of 80. The White House has moved the proposal to its long-term agenda. DOT says the rule isn’t dead, but the department has limited resources and higher priorities.
Among the moving-vehicle deaths in 2015, a total of 4,311 were caused by a collision with a big truck or bus. Sixty-eight percent of the fatalities were passengers in motor vehicles while 15 percent were bicyclists, motorcycles or pedestrians.
If you need an experienced truck accident attorney in San Antonio, contact the Herrera Law Firm.