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Of Fatal Crashes And E-Logs

Authorities believe that human error may have caused a fatal bus-tractor trailer wreck in Palm Springs, and if that’s true, truckers in Kern and Tulare Counties can expect even more government intervention.

Investigators say there was “no evidence of braking” when a busload of people rear-ended a large truck, killing thirteen people and injuring dozens more. The bus had passed yearly inspections with no reported problems since at least 2014, so mechanical failure has been ruled out at this time. Given the lateness of the hour (the bus arrived at the Red Earth Casino at about 11 pm and departed at about 4 am), fatigued driving may have been a factor.

The National Transportation Safety Board is taking the lead in the investigation.

Trucker Regulations

Less than two weeks after the crash, in a totally unrelated matter, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the controversial e-log rule, which requires trucks to have electronic logs to track HOS (hours of service). Both independent owner-operators and trucking unions had fought the measure for years, citing both the cost of compliance and privacy issues. But unless the Supreme Court intervenes, which is not likely, this rule will probably go into effect in December 2018.

HOS is just one area of the Safety Management System. Shipping companies use SMS scores to track driver safety for both current and potential drivers, so high SMS scores make it difficult to find or keep a job; high SMS scores also mean higher insurance rates for owner-operators.

An attorney can help keep SMS scores lower by making sure that the information is accurate and getting the best resolution on your drivers case in court, and a low score saves you money.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-349-9300 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.

Tulare County truckers can expect the feds to keep an even closer eye on HOS from now on. To keep your SMS score low, call Bigger & Harman.