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Feds reduce daily paperwork load for U.S. truckers

In a development that could mean safer roads for Nebraska drivers, the federal government recently enacted a plan to cut bureaucratic red tape in the trucking industry, which will purportedly eliminate a key paperwork requirement for truck drivers. Effective Dec. 18, truck drivers are no longer required to submit pre- and post-trip vehicle inspection reports when vehicle inspections find no violations, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the move is expected to free up 46.7 million hours for professional truck drivers annually. Purportedly, the change will not compromise safety and will save the trucking industry approximately $1.7 billion each year.

Officials said the move is designed to allow America's truckers to focus on safely delivering their loads to stores and businesses instead of spending many hours on unnecessary paperwork. According to the DOT, around 95 percent of inspections on commercial trucks do not uncover safety or maintenance concerns.

Officials said that truck driver inspection reports are currently ranked as the 19th highest paperwork burden by federal agencies. Eliminating no-defect reports will drop the burden down dozens of spots in the rankings, reportedly.

With less paperwork to fill out, truck drivers may have more time to safely deliver their products across the nation's roadways. However, truck accidents are still a reality of everyday life, and many are caused by fatigued driving, texting while behind the wheel and other negligent conduct by commercial truckers. People injured in an accident caused by a truck driver may not be aware of the civil restitution to which they are entitled under the law. A personal injury attorney may apprise truck accident victims of their legal options.

Source: OH&S, "DOT Plays Santa, Eliminating Daily Paperwork Requirement for Trucking Industry", December 17, 2014

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