Weeks after a sudden mudslide trapped large portions of Central California
under six feet of slime, truckers that pass through Barstow and Mojave
are still wary of travelling through the area.
Veteran trucker David Noe said the sudden mudslide was some of the worst
weather he had ever experienced. A mere three inches of rain was enough
to transform the normally dry landscape into a mass of gunk that swallowed
about 200 vehicles in only 30 minutes. Although hundreds of people were
stranded for hours, there were apparently no fatalities and only a few
Large portions of Highway 58 were impassible for several days after the
The sometimes unpredictable weather in California means that truckers are
closely scrutinized, and their vehicles must be in top shape. To regulate
these areas, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association uses the SMS (Safety Measurement System). In terms of vehicle safety, the SMS tracks seven BASICs (Behavior Analysis
and Safety Improvement Categories):
Unsafe Driving: This category includes moving violations like speeding, and non-moving
violations like no seat belt.
Crash Indicator: All the data used comes from law enforcement sources; the crash must
be “reportable” under BASIC standards.
HOS (Hours of Service) Compliance: This category includes not only fatigued driving episodes, but also recordkeeping
Vehicle Maintenance: A couple of examples are improperly secured loads and fix-it tickets.
Controlled Substances: This category includes both DUIs and failure to follow required aftercare.
HM (Hazardous Materials) Compliance: These violations are usually technical in nature, like failure to properly
Driver Fitness: Drivers’ license infractions, including driving on a suspended
license and no valid license, are in this category.
Since all the information comes from law enforcement sources, it is often
inaccurate. Moreover, violations often do not fall off the SMS report in a timely
manner. An attorney can keep your SMS score low, which makes you more
attractive to employers and keeps your insurance rate down.
Getting Legal Help
The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving
individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call
today at 661-859-1177 or email
email@example.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español,
llame al 661-376-0214.