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Senate Committee critical of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

As a trucking accident attorney representing people seriously injured by large trucks, and the families of people who are killed, I work almost every day with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, and try to keep up with trucking safety regulation.

Looking forward to transition at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it is interesting to look back at what the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee said in a report on the FMCSA last July. Here are a few excerpts:

The FMCSA has shown a pattern of undermining its safety mission by proposing weak regulations and failing to provide adequate oversight and enforcement of existing regulations.

The rules that FMCSA has proposed fail to achieve maximum safety benefits, and in some instances may undermine safety.

While marginal gains were made in 2007 compared to 2006, the charts show that over two-thirds of inspections continue to uncover violations, and one in five trucks or drivers inspected have violations so severe that they are immediately placed out of service. FMCSA has a great deal of work to do to compel industry compliance.


Ken Shigley is a Georgia trial lawyer whose practice is focused on cases of catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death arising from commercial truck and bus accidents. He has served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute, and is a frequent speaker at national continuing legal education programs on trucking liability cases. Mr. Shigley has been rated as a “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta Magazine), one of the “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend Magazine), and a Certified Civil Trial Advocate (National Board of Trial Advocacy,). He served a decade on the faculty of the Emory University Law School Trial Techniques Program. Mr. Shigley is currently Secretary of the 40,000 member State Bar of Georgia. To increase capacity for handling more and larger cases, he recently became “of counsel” with the law firm of Chambers, Aholt & Rickard which has an extensive trucking liability practice.

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