How frequently do trucking crashes occur in DuPage County, and do current laws and regulations have any impact on the rate of truck collisions in the state of Illinois?
A change to Illinois’s truck inspection laws took effect on January 1, 2018, and some safety advocates argue that it could lessen roadway safety in the state. Oppositely, regulators are moving to do away with side-view mirrors on large trucks and to replace them with more advanced technology to help truckers stay safe on the road.
If new inspection laws are in fact resulting in more collisions, could changes to side-mirror regulations help to reduce the overall rate of crashes?
Large Trucks Only Need to Be Inspected Once Every Year
According to a report from Peoria Public Radio, a new trucking industry law took effect at the beginning of this calendar year, and it gives certain truck drivers in Illinois a break when it comes to safety inspections. The new law means that large trucks traveling only in Illinois are no longer required to have inspections twice per year. Instead, for the last several months, those trucks have been on a once-per-year inspection schedule.
According to Don Schaefer, a spokesperson for the Midwest Truckers Association, the change to the law is sensible. However, many safety advocates disagree, and argue that the shift in inspection rate means less safe trucks on the road.
As Schaefer explains, it is more fair to those who operate in Illinois as it will save both money and time. Many of the trucks that will be subject to the new inspection law are seasonal trucks and may only be utilized by farm workers to haul grain during the harvest season in the fall. Indeed, as Schaefer elucidated, those farmers may park their trucks, and those trucks may not go back on the roadway again for another eight months.
Federal regulations only require inspections once per year, and truckers will be able to be stopped for inspections on highways so that the police can check the truck’s brakes and lights.
New Regulations Want to Replace Truck Side-View Mirrors
While certain Illinois trucks now can undergo fewer inspections, other proposed regulations aim to make significant changes to large trucks to improve their safety ratings, according to a report in Trucks.com. More specifically, a technology company, Stoneridge Inc., wants to remove elephant ear side-view mirrors on big rigs and replace them with the company’s Mirror Eye system. The system has been in the testing phase for about three years in the United States, and the company recently filed for an exemption with the U.S. Department of Transportation that would allow 18-wheelers to remove their side mirrors and use only the Mirror Eye system.
What is this system? According to the report, the system has individually wired cameras that are redundant in order to protect from malfunction, and they provide views of the adjacent lanes to the driver, as well as the ground on each side of the truck, and the blind spot over the front of the hood. The driver receives these images on digital displays inside the truck.
Still, will this technology actually prevent accidents? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is currently seeking public comment on the company’s application for exemption. If the Mirror Eye system is installed in a large number of trucks, we could see a reduction in truck accident rates.
Learn More from a DuPage County Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have questions about filing a claim after a trucking crash, an experienced DuPage County truck accident lawyer can help. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC today.
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