Have you ever asked yourself the following question- What rights do truck drivers have? Considered to be the backbone of America, truck drivers have gone through it all. Unlike in the past, these days truck drivers do have truckers rights.
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Moreover, the truckers rights have been recognized by the U.S. Government and by all the leading truckers associations as well. The trucking industry as the largest in the USA so far has employed nearly 3.5 million registered truck drivers; truck drivers that have obtained Class A CDL driver’s license.
So, all these truck drivers that are rolling on the road every single day deserve to have truckers rights and to be respected for their continual effort that they put in order that all industries in the USA can function properly. I have dedicated this article to truckers rights; let me be more precise, to the truckers rights I consider are the most important ones that you need to know.
Over and above, now you have the chance to read and learn more about the life and the rights of truck drivers!
1. Refusing To Drive Unsafe Equipment
Unfortunately, truck drivers, do experience job offers from trucking companies that are not followed by the rules and regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier SafetyAdministration FMCSA. I’m in the trucking industry for many years and so far I’ve witnessed this kind of situations many times.
So if a truck driver finds him in such situation, he should know that he has the right to refuse to drive unsafe equipment. Moreover, in this point of view truck drivers are protected by The Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA).
Well, speaking of STAA, I must mention that the main reason why this act took place, is to enforce truck safety. So, trucking companies are not allowed to discipline, discharge, as well as to discriminate truck drivers. Instead, both the trucking companies and the truck drivers should pay enormous attention to safety.
Thereupon, each truck driver should file a safety complaint and refuse to operate with an unsafe vehicle. STAA is also focused on many other activities, such as are the DOT regulations, retaliation over running times, refusals to drive under bad weather.
Hence, when a truck driver is refusing to drive on a bad weather he shall have a valid explanation for that. Starting with the fact that the refusal shall be based on reasonable apprehension. In general, these reasonable apprehensions are interpreted by the Department of Labour-DOL. Not to forget, the truck driver should ask its employer to correct any existing problem.
2. The Right To File Official Complaints And Legal Suits
Almost all people that are engaged in the trucking industry are familiar with the fact that truck drivers have the right to file official complaints, as well as legal suits if they find themselves in any unwanted situation.
Truck drivers nowadays can enjoy the benefits that the Development AssistanceCommittee- DAC is providing to them. Thereupon, truck drivers can easily find lawyers that do understand the trucking industry, lawyers that are able to help and prevent any kind of retaliation for filing a negative report. These lawyers can also help you with workplace injuries, and trucking accidents.
Thereupon, truck drivers can file a complaint and report it to the Equal Employement Opportunity Commission- EEOC.
So, when reporting a problem you shall bring up all the facts and figures to your employer. Being specific in these situations is crucial. For example, if you consider that there is a violation of DOT regulations then, your statement should be clear why do you think that it represents a safety hazard. Having a witness when filing any kind of complaint is a major plus. You must have in mind that documenting a problem with a camera, or a cell phone can help you if you don’t have a witness in the moment.
Also, truck drivers can take advantage of the Legal Plan for Truck Drivers. This legal plan was issued back in 1991, and it represents a real National Law Firm. Thanks to this Legal Plan truck drivers are now protected, actually, the Legal Plan is putting the odds back in the favor of truck drivers.
But, does a truck driver need a Legal Plan for real? The correct answer is Yes. That is so because in general truck drivers are targeted by enforcement agencies that have set way different standard measures than for other truck drivers.
3.Refusing To Drive Under Bad Weather Conditions
Truck drivers have a unique lifestyle that requires from them to be constantly on the road transporting loads. Well, the people that have chosen this profession are facing all different kind of weather conditions throughout the Plains, the Northeast as well as throughout the West.
When winter is in full swing truck drivers are facing snow-covered and icy roads. So when the weather conditions are like that, truck drivers have the full right to refuse to drive, because after all, it is not safe to drive with an exception for the (ice road truckers).
Thereupon, this is one of the truckers’ rights that is supported by the United StatesCode of Federal Regulations.
When a Truck Driver Can Refuse To Drive
A truck driver can refuse to drive when there are adverse weather conditions. That is to say, when the weather is hazardous, and when it is unsafe to operate a commercial vehicle on the highways.
Still, when a truck driver refuses to drive, he must have reasonable reasons. First of all, his decision should be based on his personal observations, as well as based on the weather reports.
Every truck driver should have in mind that when he is caught in hazardous weather conditions, he can always call the Department of Transportation and HighwayPatrol. Truck drivers shall not be afraid to refuse to drive under bad weather conditions because they have protected thanks to the Surface TransportationAssistance Act.