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Truck drivers fight back about unsafe conditions

Several hundred truckers have walked off the job in another state recently, and their actions are highlighting a national issue. The truck drivers are claiming they are often forced to drive in unsafe conditions, potentially leading to truck accidents. If drivers’ loads are deemed inappropriate or unsafe, who should be held responsible?

About 300 to 400 employees stopped working this week in what is being described as “growing discontent” among truckers. While this didn’t happen in Florida, it is catching attention nationwide. According to King 5’s website, one truck driver says the conditions he’s forced to drive in make it “very dangerous” not only for himself but for the general public.

Many drivers complain that they are forced to carry overweight loads. Despite weight limits, if a shipper can squeeze more cargo into a truck, it will save costs. Even though it is against regulations, truck drivers say it happens all too frequently. Inspections and investigations appear to back up their claims.

Drivers also complain that they shouldn’t be the ones getting fined for carrying overweight loads or other problems. Responsibility could shift to one of many directions. Typically, the shipper owns the shipping container, while the chassis it rests on is owned by a separate company. Some states are looking to introduce legislation that would put more responsibility on companies that subcontract the drivers, according to King 5.

Truck drivers in Florida and elsewhere should feel comfortable performing their job. Their input could prevent accidents and save lives.

Source: King 5, “Hundreds of truck drivers walk off job at Port of Seattle,” Chris Ingalls, Feb. 3, 2012

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