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The Brakes Are Being Applied to Safety Regulations for Trucks and Trains

By Ryan Stubbs (Haljackey) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11596384

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Will the Trump administration’s decision to take away safety regulations cause a concern in the coming years?

With so much controversy coming out of Washington seemingly every day, it’s no wonder some news gets lost in the weeds.

One piece of info that has an effect on commuters in the U.S., which hasn’t gotten much talk lately, is that President Donald Trump has pumped the brakes on new safety regulations that try to address and possibly guard against dangerous problems in the transportation industry. From out-of-control semi trucks to railroad de-railings, Trump has turned away from regulating this part of the government.

According to USA Today, a dozen transportation safety rules under construction or already in place have been repealed or delayed since Trump assumed office in January 2017. Soon after the president was sworn in he was seen climbing into a semi truck’s seat on the White House driveway, pantomiming driving the big rig and getting to honk the loud horn. The timing is everything as various news stories hit the media last year detailing train runoffs, speeding tractors, and fatal collisions between semis and small cars.

The safety regulations that were set up or in development focused on annual inspections of commercial bus operators, railroads to operate trains, and automakers to install vehicle-to-vehicle communications devices to prevent collisions.

The Department of Transportation has said the reason behind repealing these regulations is to help economic growth. Another claim is that reducing safety regulations will not get in the way of safety. One rule, proposed by the last administration in 2016, wanted to require new heavy duty trucks to have software that limits their speeds. The rule would have saved around 500 lives per year as well as produce a net cost savings of $5 billion annually.

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