Feds Crack Down on "Chameleon" Trucking Companies
Government Crackdown On Unsafe Trucking
The trucking industry can be a dangerous one, especially when so many trucking companies constantly break the rules, or try to take advantages of loopholes in the system.
According to a recent article on JOC.com, there is a growing number of trucking companies in the United States that fail to comply with safety regulations and that have been shut down for this or a variety of other reasons. These trucking companies then change their names. They're referred to as "chameleon" trucking companies. In 2005, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (or FMCSA) estimated that there were almost 800 of these companies in operation. By 2010, that number had risen to around 1,100.
The FMCSA is currently working on ways to identify these chameleon trucking companies in an effort to keep them from being granted permits to operate. The new screening system that's currently being developed will check for identifying characteristics that link new trucking companies to those that have been shut down in the past. It will check for similar addresses, individual driver safety records, and other indicators that might present red flags.
An excellent example of the need for such a screening system occurred in June of 2014 in Ithaca, New York. An out of control trucker crashed into a restaurant, killing one person an injuring several others. When the crash was investigated, officials found that the trucking company had had several violations in the past, and should not have been in operation at all. This was just one incident that caused New York Senator Charles Schumer to urge FMCSA to make some serious changes.
The good news is that the new system is scheduled to be in place by October 2015. Once that is place, chameleon trucking companies will find it much harder to continue operating.