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Tracy Morgan May Be Victim of Watered Down Truck Safety Rules

Tracy Morgan, pictured here performing last month, was seriously injured in a traffic accident. (Photo: Getty)

Tracy Morgan, pictured here performing last month, was seriously injured in a traffic accident. (Photo: Getty)

Comedian Tracy Morgan, who suffered horrific injuries after a tractor-trailer plowed into his limousine van, may ultimately be the victim of an intense lobbying campaign in Washington that watered down truck safety rules.

Morgan, 45, was critically injured after a truck driver dozed off at the wheel and plowed into the back of his vehicle, police revealed today (June 7).

James McNair, identified as one of Morgan’s comedy writers was aboard the limo bus, and was killed in the crash, police said.

Jeff Millea, Morgan’s assistant, was also critically injured along with two other individuals who have yet to be identified.

Truck Safety Update:
Rules Still Under Fire

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted June 5 by a wide margin to suspend the current 34-hour restart provision of the hours of service rule while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration studies the impact of the rule. The suspension would start after the bill is passed and FMCSA posts public notice, and last until September 30, 2015, or when FMCSA finishes the study. The committee voted 21-9 in favor of an amendment offered by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who said “it has become clear that the rules have had unintended consequences that are not in best interest of carriers, shippers and the public.”

Source: Heavy Duty Trucking

The truck driver “failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead,” said New Jersey State Police spokesman Gregory Williams.

“He observed at the last minute — just prior to impact — the limo bus carrying Morgan and his party.”

Driver fatigue, which appears to be the cause of the crash, has been a hotly debated issue in Washington. Interstate trucking is regulated by the federal Department of Transportation.

Three years ago, the department, through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, conducted a review of commercial trucking safety regulations, including the so-called “hours of service rule.”

The rule establishes guidelines for drivers regarding time behind the wheel and mandatory rest periods.

The final was published in the Federal Register in 2011 and went into effect in 2012. All commercial carriers were required to comply with the measure by last July.

Trucking trade groups lobbied fiercely to limit tougher regulations and largely got their way.

It’s unknown at the moment whether the driver was in compliance with the regulations, or the name of the carrier involved. A federal investigation is likely.

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