WASHINGTON (Sept. 19, 2014) — The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and two safety advocacy groups have filed suit against the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and its Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for not issuing training standards for entry-level truck drivers that Congress first mandated 23 years ago.
The Teamsters, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways filed suit against the agencies Sept. 18 before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Public Citizen is representing the plaintiffs before the court.
“Enough is enough,” said Adina Rosenbaum, an attorney for Public Citizen. “Twenty years, two lawsuits and two congressional mandates have not been successful in prodding the DOT into issuing the entry-level driver training rule. The court should step in and order the agency to act.”
In 1991, Congress passed a law directing DOT to issue an entry-level commercial vehicle driver training standard by 1993, Public Citizen said in a press release.
In 2002, safety advocates took DOT to court, according to Public Citizen. DOT agreed to issue a rule by 2004, but in 2005, with no standard in place, the court ruled that the agency had disregarded voluminous evidence that on-street training enhances safety, Public Citizen said.
The FMCSA issued another proposed rule in 2007, but never completed it, according to Public Citizen. Another congressional mandate in 2012 also failed to make the agency act, it said.
Approximately 4,000 people die and nearly 100,000 are injured annually in truck-related crashes, Public Citizen said, adding that large truck crash fatalities rose 4 percent in 2012.