The laws surrounding truck companies are meant to ensure that unsafe drivers are not on the roads. They are supposed to keep businesses from cutting corners that could lead to a commercial truck crash.
What happens though if a poorly run, unsafe company that has been put out of service by these regulations simply restarts under a different name? This process is called “reincarnation,” and it is becoming more and more prevalent as the years pass.
How does an old company start fresh? In some cases, there may be legitimate reasons. The vast majority though are for nefarious purposes that put Texans on the road at risk of getting involved in a truck wreck. These companies, after being put out of business by regulators, apply to the FMCSA for a new DOT number as if they are a new company. This little lie only involves a form and a small fee, making it incredibly easy for companies to reincarnate over and over to avoid fines or permanent closure. If you or a loved one has been injured in a wreck due to one of these companies, you need the best truck injury lawyer in Houston Texas.
Safety Concerns of a New DOT Number
What does it mean to receive a new DOT number? It means a clean record that likely won’t be reviewed until 18 months into existence. This means that safety violations can continue to occur in a way that puts other drivers and the company’s employees at risk.
Adherence to safety regulations can be inspected at roadside checks. Some of these checks can culminate in an out-of-service order for the vehicle if the regulations aren’t being followed. The out-of-service order can be compared to a license suspension for passenger vehicles. Its essence is that the vehicle must pay a fine or fix the violation (or both) before getting back on the road.
There is one big problem with these orders. Due to many of them being issued at roadside checks, the trucks are often allowed to continue their trip because of crowding at rest stops and weigh stations. This could lead to a big truck accident due to unsafe conditions like:
- Overloaded cargo
- Improper maintenance
- Unsafe driving
FMCSA Regulations Offer Promising Leads on Halting Reincarnation
In response to the dangers that the reincarnation process poses for other drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has stepped in with new methods of halting the practice. New laws expand FMCSA’s powerwith the following:
- Any 18-wheeler or big rig that is given an out-of-service order must ask for an administrative review within 21 days or a final order will be issued
- All reincarnated carrier safety and compliance records can be permanently consolidated
Call an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers in Houston
Working with the Stephens Law Firm means getting a team of experts who understand the trucking industry in and out. With more than three decades defending drivers from big truck companies, Joe Stephens has what it takes to help you win your case.
If you have been the victim of an accident, consider reaching out to the best auto wreck lawyer in Houston, TX for your free, no-obligation consultation today.
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