'Fit, Willing and Able' Policy Seeks to Prevent Bus and Truck Accidents
November 17, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Large vehicles like commercial buses and semi-trucks pose special hazards to others on the road. Although bus and truck drivers are not necessarily more at risk for causing a motor vehicle accident, the sheer size of their vehicles means that when crashes do occur, the chance of serious injury or death is much greater.
As such, the federal government has a significant interest in regulating these carriers to prevent bus and truck accidents. To that end, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regularly conducts safety inspections on all interstate truck and bus carriers. Carriers who fail to comply with statutory safety requirements can have their licenses to operate revoked.
Some carriers try to skirt FMCSA regulations by creating new identities or affiliations to essentially "reincarnate" previously shuttered operations. To combat this problem, the FMCSA has introduced a new policy it calls "Fit, Willing and Able." The program requires commercial carriers to prove that they are ready, willing and able to meet federal safety standards before they are given permission to operate.
The agency's scrutiny focuses on companies that have had their permission to operate suspended or revoked within the last six years. The FMCSA will use a number of criteria to evaluate these carriers, including the following:
- The nature and severity of any current or past violations
- The extent to which any current or past violations have negatively affected safety, including any history of accidents, fatalities or injuries associated with the violations
- The cause of any current or past violations, including whether they were caused by the company's willful failure to comply with regulations
- Whether the FMCSA has taken any enforcement actions against the company, and how those actions were resolved
- Whether the company has effective safety management controls that will allow it to comply with safety regulations
- Whether there has been any corrective action with regard to current or past violations
Oklahoma Truck and Bus Accident Lawsuits
The "Fit, Willing and Able" policy intends to keep motorists safe from accidents caused by bad drivers or negligent trucking companies. Still, even with significant federal enforcement, truck and bus accidents happen all too often in Oklahoma and throughout the United States.
When accidents happen as a result of negligence, victims have a right to hold negligent drivers and carriers accountable. After a truck or bus accident in Oklahoma, victims can bring personal injury lawsuits to seek compensation for damages including medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and loss of future earning potential.
If you or a loved one has been injured in bus or truck accident, an Oklahoma City personal injury attorney can help you understand your options.