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Illinois Senator looking into truck safety after key accident

A federal safety agency tasked with overseeing the commercial trucking industry is now under review. News sources have reported that Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin has called for an examination of how the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is handling proposed measures aimed at identifying key issues regarding commercial truck safety and intervening on behalf of the public.

The impetus for the scrutiny of the federal watchdog can be traced back to a tragic January 2014 crash that involved a fatigued truck driver. That accident occurred near Aurora, Illinois, along Interstate 88 and claimed the lives of a state trooper and an Illinois Tollway worker. Reports say that emergency vehicles had stopped for a disabled truck along Interstate 88 when the fatigued driver smashed in to those stopped vehicles. A news agency investigation discovered that although the FMCSA initially ordered an investigation into that accident, the agency failed to follow through with their inquiry.

At Sen. Durbin's request, the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation will now conduct a review of how the FMCSA possibly mishandled the investigation into that truck accident. The key issue is whether a federal safety program to reduce the numbers of high risk trucking operations is receiving effective oversight from the FMCSA. The truck driver responsible for that fatal accident was found to have violated rules related to certain hours of service operational requirements. That driver has since received a three-year prison sentence as a result of that accident.

Illinois motorists have a right to use our roadways without having to be fearful of commercial truck drivers. Particularly those that operate in violation of federal safety standards. Truck drivers that drink or use drugs then get behind the wheel are liable to victims who are injured through such negligent actions. That also applies to fatigued drivers who are exhausted from operating their vehicles beyond the maximum allowable hours.

If you have been injured as a result of a drunk, drugged or fatigued truck driver you may be entitled to seek compensation. An attorney familiar with Illinois truck accident law can assist you in pursuing recovery of your medical expenses and as lost wages caused by your accident.

Source: WREX-Channel 13, "Illinois truck crash prompts review of federal oversight," May. 06, 2015

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