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Truck Safety: U.S. Senator Targets “Chameleon Carriers”

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) has initiated a truck safety campaign that targets trucking companies that dissolve their businesses and re-emerge under new names to avoid federal safety regulations. These companies, also known as “chameleon carriers”, use the same staff, the same drivers and the same trucks and re-submit their trucking licenses under the new names. Truck safety advocates have pointed to chameleon carriers as some of the worst violators of federal and state safety regulations.

Senator Calls For Tougher Truck Safety Licensing

Senator Schumer held a press conference to notify the press about this major truck safety issue. The senator stated that a report from the Government Accountability Office showed more than 1,100 possible chameleon carriers registered for permits with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2010. Senator Schumer called on the FMCSA to enact stricter regulations regarding these applications, especially when the owners of the “new” trucking companies carry records with numerous truck safety violations.

“Chameleons” Evade Truck Safety Scrutiny

While Senator Schumer emphasized that most companies and drivers strive to obey all truck safety regulations, the chameleon carriers have the same “bad apples” that “pose a serious risk” to other drivers and pedestrians. The senator pointed to an example of a Texas trucking company, Forrest Rangeloff, that employed a driver involved in a fatal accident in 2008. The company later dissolved and re-formed under two other names, Range Transportation and Range-It Express. The dissolution allowed the company to avoid having the truck safety violations on its license application.

Tougher Screening For Truck Safety Applications

Senator Schumer urged the FMCSA to include the truck safety records of individual drivers and company histories in the screening process for new trucking licenses. The inclusion of safety records for employees of the previous entity, the senator told reporters, would close a loop hole “so large you could drive a truck through it.” The stricter regulations would also include financial penalties for chameleon companies attempting to hide their truck safety violations and re-emerge as new entities.

Source: The Trucker

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