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Does lax truck safety oversight create danger on New York roads?

The New York State Comptroller says the state needs to do a better job of making sure that commercial trucks and drivers follow safety regulations. The comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, recently released an audit that showed the state Department of Transportation frequently failed to monitor commercial trucks to ensure that serious violations were fixed before they returned to the roads.

Large trucks can be particularly dangerous to drivers of smaller vehicles during a crash. Commercial carriers must follow stringent requirements for proper vehicle maintenance and driver training and safety, and they can be taken out of service, fined or face other consequences for failures to follow safety rules. 

The comptroller’s report found that of the 90,000-plus violations issued by the Department of Transportation, truck companies did not file required follow-up paperwork 39 percent of the time. They are supposed to give the state paperwork certifying repairs to vehicles within 15 days.

The report also found that the state did not impose stiffer penalties when carriers continued to operate vehicles that had been placed out-of-service for repairs. The comptroller says the lack of oversight could create dangers for New York motorists.

The DOT responded by saying that it uses other ways to follow up with trucking companies that have poor safety records, and that it would use its own tracking system to follow up with poorly performing carriers by the end of March.

Trucks are required to follow these regulations for the safety of all drivers and passengers on the road. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, a personal injury lawyer with knowledge of federal truck safety regulations can assess whether you may have a claim for money damages against the trucking company.

Source: Newsday, “Audit criticizes NYDOT for failing to monitor violators,” David M. Schwartz, Jan. 22, 2014

  • Our law firm represents clients who have been injured or lost loved ones in motor vehicle accidents in New York City. To learn more, review our truck accidents page.

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