Say a restaurant in your town repeatedly violated health and safety codes, so much so that local authorities close it. And then the restaurant owner simply opened a new operation down the street under a different name. Couldn’t that pose a real danger to area diners?
Now instead of a restaurant, imagine it’s an unsafe trucking company the government shuts down. What happens if the company owners set up shop under a new name?
What is a Chameleon Carrier?
That’s why in January 2014 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued new rules designed to prevent “chameleon carriers” from operating and threatening the safety of other drivers. Chameleon carrier is the term commonly applied to a trucking or bus company ordered to cease operations due to repeated safety violations that quickly reforms under a different name.
Under the new rules, the government can more easily shut down unsafe trucking companies, including those operated by individuals who are serial past offenders. According to the FMCSA, it acted against 35 chameleon carriers since the new rules were implemented.
Examining Truck Drivers’ Records
Now a U.S. Senator has called for expanding the rules for reviewing dangerous truck and bus companies. Apparently drivers’ safety records aren’t included when screening for chameleon carriers. The lawmaker rightfully argues that identifying unsafe truck drivers should be a part of the process.
Negligent truck drivers and negligent carriers are responsible for thousands of fatal accidents each year. When such a tragedy occurs, trucking companies typically put up roadblocks for uncovering the truth.
Attorneys who investigate catastrophic trucking accidents identify their causes and pursue compensation for the victims or their surviving families.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.