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New truck driver regulations delayed

The publication of new trucking regulations for truck drivers in California and around the country has been delayed. One would create a database of truck drivers who refused or failed a drug test and another would require heavy trucks to have speed limiters.

The regulation dealing with the database that will be called the Commercial Driver's License Alcohol and Drug Clearinghouse is now supposed to be sent to the federal Office of Management and Budget on May 6. It will now be published on Aug. 16. Carriers will be required to check this database for all new hires and will also be required to share the information with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration annually.

There are no projected dates now for the rule about speed limiters. This rule is the result of a collaboration between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the FMCSA. The devices may be required on vehicles that weigh more than 27,000 pounds.

Regulations in the trucking industry are necessary in part because truck accidents can be so devastating. The sheer size and weight of commercial trucks means that people in other vehicles are more likely to be seriously injured. Despite regulations and laws about driver fatigue and drug and alcohol usage, these are not always heeded. A person who is injured in a truck accident may want to consult an attorney about filing a civil lawsuit. The company the truck driver was working for at the time may also be liable. Even if the truck driver is not charged with breaking any laws, a civil lawsuit might be successful, as there is a lower burden of proof on the plaintiff in such an action as there is on the prosecution in a criminal trial.

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