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Proposed trucking regulations stalled

Trucking companies in Connecticut that were preparing for the possibility of speed limiter rules can scratch that concern off of their lists for the near future. A biannual update to the regulatory calendar of the U.S. Department of Transportation has shifted the rule-making process for speed limiters to a long-term agenda item. Last September, the department had proposed mandating the use of the technology to prevent commercial trucks from speeding.

The shifting of the proposal off of the active agenda did not surprise people within the trucking industry. Their support for speed limiters had declined, and the Trump administration's unwillingness to issue new rules had led them to expect a regulatory delay.

The department also removed from consideration another proposal regarding the medical evaluation of truckers for obstructive sleep apnea. That proposed rule would have required screening for the condition as part of a health certification process for commercial drivers. Regulators have not indicated if or when they might consider the issue of sleep apnea among truckers. The report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said that not enough information was available to consider the issue.

When drivers or trucking companies violate existing regulations, that action could support a claim of negligence in the event of truck accidents. A victim of a crash caused by a fatigued driver, poor vehicle maintenance, or unsecured cargo could work with an attorney to gather evidence for a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney could assemble records of the person's medical care and lost income to justify the recovery of financial damages. Filing a lawsuit could convince an insurance company to offer an adequate settlement.

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