Representing victims of serious harm and death

Driver Coercion Rule Takes Effect January 29, 2016

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The Chicago trucking accident attorneys at Whiting Law Group, LTD. have been watching the development of this rule over the course of years. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety [1] Administration (FMCSA), coercion occurs when a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary threatens to withhold work from, take employment action against, or punish a driver for refusing to operate in violation of hours-of-service and other safety regulations.  To address the problem of coercion, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration adopted the Prohibiting Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers, known as the Coercion Rule [2]. This Rule allows drivers to report incidents of coercion to the FMCSA and authorizes the administration to issue penalties against motor carriers, shippers, receivers, or transportation intermediaries.  The Rule takes effect January 29, 2016, at which time the administration will start to accept coercion complaints from drivers.  Once enacted, violators could face a fine of $16,000.00 per violation or, in some cases, loss of operating authority.

According to the FMCSA, which collects data regarding large truck and bus accidents, 3,802 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2012; a 5% increase from 2011.  They also provide that during the same time period, the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 22% from 63,000 to 70,000.  When truck drivers do not abide by the regulations that control their workload and hours of operation, they may become fatigued from driving too many hours per day or too many hours in a work week.  This, in turn, can cause serious or even fatal accidents as the above statistics suggest.  By enacting the new Coercion Rule, there is hope that a driver who is being coerced to violate important safety rules will report the actions of his or her employer which, in turn, will reduce the number of trucking accidents and fatalities.

If you or a loved one are involved in an accident with a large truck, there may be serious and even permanent injuries requiring medical attention.  It will be necessary for you to speak to an Illinois trucking accident attorney regarding the compensation to which you are entitled.  Whiting Law Group takes a personal interest in every case that comes into our office. If you are looking for an attorney that will give you undivided individual attention, commitment to excellence, and use every possible resource available to help you win your case, then please contact Mr. Whiting directly for a free consultation toll- free at 1-877-936-7200 or by email at twhiting@wlglaw.net. There is no fee unless we win your case.

References

[1] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/coercion

[2] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/rulemaking/2015-30237