Members of the Truck Safety Coalition, a nonprofit organization, have been pushing lawmakers to improve current safety regulations on commercial trucks. North Carolina residents should know that, in particular, they are calling for a law requiring automatic emergency braking on all commercial vehicles.
On Tuesday, July 16, 2019, lawmakers introduced just such a bill. Entitled the Safe Roads Act of 2019 and also known as H.R. 3773, it would require AEB systems for all new and old CMVs and lay down guidelines for their use while the vehicles are in operation. The Secretary of Transportation would be the one to handle this if the bill is passed.
Of the three representatives who introduced the bill, one proposed a similar piece of legislation back in 2015 but failed to get it approved. The other two have introduced another bill called the INSURANCE Act, which they also did through the Truck Safety Coalition’s encouragement. The bill calls for motor carriers’ minimum insurance requirements to be adjusted to the inflation rate for medical costs.
An AEB system typically costs around $500, a price that may pose a problem to some truck fleets. The Truck Safety Coalition, though, is pushing for more than AEB. It advocates for mandatory speed limiter use and side and front underride guard installation.
AEB can help prevent rear-end accidents by alerting truckers when they are approaching a vehicle too fast and applying the brakes if truckers do not react in time. Everyone knows that commercial truck accidents are often severe, but the laws of this state allow victims to file for compensatory damages if they are free of blame. There is no comparative negligence rule in North Carolina, so victims may want to work with a lawyer to ensure a strong case.