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safety rules 49 articles

Feds side with Oregon truck driver whistleblower, order reinstatement and back pay

An Oregon truck driver who filed a whistleblower complaint against her employer alleging she was fired for refusing to drive an unsafe truck will receive back wages and compensation for legal fees in addition to being reinstated to her job, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced. After completing an investigation of the complaint, OSHA ordered Terry Unrein, an independent trucking contractor based in Gresham, Ore., to reinstate the driver, who was fired in late 2011 after she refused to drive a five-ton truck with inadequate tire tread on public highways. According to OSHA, Terry Unrein fired the driver ... Read More

Federal agencies partner up to improve whistleblower protections for commercial drivers

Better oversight of whistleblower protections afforded by the federal Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) is the aim of a memorandum of understanding signed by leaders of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The joint effort will strengthen coordination and cooperation between the two agencies, resulting in better anti-retaliation protections for employees of the commercial truck and bus industries. According to OSHA, the memorandum “allows for the exchange of safety, coercion and retaliation allegations when received by one agency, that fall under the authority of the other.” The STAA shields drivers and ... Read More

Company ordered to reinstate, compensate truck drivers it fired for voicing safety concerns

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered Pontiac, Mich.-based Asphalt Specialists Inc. to pay $1 million in back wages and damages and reinstate a foreman and two truck drivers who were fired after voicing safety concerns. According to OSHA, Asphalt Specialists fired the foreman on June 30, 2012, after he repeatedly raised concerns to the company’s co-owner about being forced to exceed hours-of-service (HOS) rules, which regulate commercial drivers’ periods of work and rest and are intended to mitigate driver fatigue. Company managers “repeatedly failed to allow for the 10-hour rest period mandated by the Department of Transportation,” ... Read More

Alabama State Troopers ride along with truckers to spot bad drivers

A safety program putting Alabama State Troopers in the passenger seats of tractor trailers is resulting in a number of drivers being ticketed for texting and driving, improper lane usage, cutting commercial trucks and other vehicles off, and other aggressive and unsafe driving habits. TACT, which stands for Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks, is a crackdown on bad drivers jointly run by the Alabama Department of Public Safety and the Alabama Trucking Association. The program resembles an undercover operation to some extent, with state troopers riding along with commercial truck drivers as “spotters” on the lookout for poor and aggressive ... Read More

40 people injured in two San Francisco municipal transport crashes

Two separate municipal transit crashes occurred within minutes of each other in San Francisco Friday, injuring 40 people and sending more than 20 to the hospital, some with serious injuries. The first crash happened at 1:29 p.m. in the Japantown section and involved a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus and two dump trucks. Bay City News reports the “Muni” bus was traveling behind a dump truck that slammed on its brakes, causing the bus driver to brake and swerve in an effort to avoid a collision. Instead, the bus slammed into another dump truck on the road. The collision shattered ... Read More

Most victims in charter bus/FedEx collision died of smoke inhalation

Seven of the 10 people who died in a fiery bus California bus crash in April survived the crash initially but then died of smoke inhalation, the Coroner of Glenn County, Calif., found. The April 10 crash occurred in the Northern California city of Orland when a FedEx truck veered off the highway and collided with a charter bus full of college-bound students. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators said the FedEx truck was traveling south on Interstate 5 when it veered left and crossed a 58-foot-wide median before entering oncoming traffic. The FedEx truck swiped a Nissan sedan with ... Read More

Tracy Morgan sues Walmart over crash injuries

Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Walmart seeking a jury trial and damages for injuries stemming from a crash on the New Jersey Turnpike last month that left him critically injured. Mr. Morgan was riding back to New York in a limousine van after performing in Delaware when a tractor trailer owned and operated by the retail giant slammed his vehicle from behind. Mr. Morgan was one of three passengers critically injured in the June 7 crash in Cranbury Township, N.J. His friend and mentor James McNair, who performed under the name “Jimmy Mack,” died at the scene. ... Read More

Deadly Mississippi ambulance crash underscores dangers for emergency workers

Police investigating a deadly collision between an ambulance and a tractor trailer June 24 in southeastern Mississippi say the crash occurred when the emergency vehicle attempted to pass two 18-wheelers. The crash killed the two-man ambulance crew at the scene. According to Mississippi Highway Patrol officials, an ASAP ambulance traveling north on Highway 63 in Greene County while responding to an emergency call came up behind two semi trucks. The ambulance crew had activated the vehicle’s red lights but had not initialized the siren when they attempted to pass the trucks on the left. The ambulance cleared the first truck ... Read More

Walmart driver that struck Tracy Morgan’s van was speeding, NTSB finds

The Walmart truck driver who crashed into the back of comedian Tracy Morgan’s limo van was speeding 20 mph over the limit and was near the maximum daily driving limit set by federal hours-of-service rules when the crash occurred, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in a preliminary report. NTSB investigators are also looking into whether driver Kevin Roper, 45, had been awake for more than 24 hours as a criminal complaint filed by New Jersey police stated. The crash occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike in the early morning hours of June 7 as Mr. Morgan, his assistant, ... Read More

Family of student killed in FedEx truck crash file wrongful death lawsuit

The family of a California student who was killed in April when a FedEx truck struck the charter bus he was a passenger on has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the express mail company. The lawsuit, filed by the family of 18-year-old Ismael Jimenez in Los Angeles County, is the latest lawsuit to be filed in the wake of the fiery April 10 bus crash, which left 10 people dead. Mr. Jimenez, an aspiring artist from Los Angeles, was on a charter bus trip taking students on a weekend tour to Humboldt University in Arcata, Calif. He was among ... Read More