Inspector's Alleged Bribery Undermines Trust in Safety Inspections, Northeast Truck Accident Attorney Says

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Federal truck inspector’s alleged misconduct could have endangered the safety of countless New York motorists, says truck accident attorney Marion Munley.

Marion Munley

The FMCSA’s inspections are intended to make sure that trucking companies are following the rules and to prevent New York truck accidents. Accusations like this undermine our trust in those inspections.

An attorney who represents tractor-trailer accident victims throughout the Northeast said today that the public’s trust in truck safety inspections has been undermined by an alleged upstate New York bribery scandal.

According to the Buffalo News, federal prosecutors have charged a Buffalo, New York-based Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration supervisor of taking thousands of dollars in bribes from safety consultants for Canadian trucking companies in exchange for giving them improper help with safety inspections.

The inspector, who was arrested in an investigation by the FBI and U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General’s Office, has pled not guilty, the newspaper said.

According to Land Line Magazine, the inspector’s alleged assistance included arranging for “friendly” safety audits that allowed the trucking companies to obtain favorable FMCSA ratings.

“The FMCSA’s inspections are intended to make sure that trucking companies are following the rules and to prevent New York truck accidents,” said Marion Munley, an attorney with the Scranton, Pennsylvania-based trucking accident litigation firm of Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C. “They must be fairly and consistently enforced at all times.”

“The FMCSA’s inspections are intended to make sure that trucking companies are following the rules and to prevent New York truck accidents. Accusations like this undermine our trust in those inspections.”

According to the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities across the U.S. in 2009 involved large trucks, with 75 percent of those fatalities being the occupants of the other cars involved in the collision with the big rig vehicle.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles reports that 11,100 large truck accidents occurred in the state in 2009, with 100 of those truck crashes causing deaths.

FMCSA audits are aimed at ensuring that a commercial trucking company is in compliance with various safety requirements, including those involving equipment, maintenance and logbooks that track a driver’s hours on the road.

“When these audits are not performed as they should be, it allows unsafe trucks to be on the road, and that endangers the health and safety of those in passenger cars who stand to bear the brunt of the damage in a tractor-trailer collision,” Munley said.

“Trucking companies that are negligent with their safety compliance don’t deserve a free ride, and we will continue to hold them accountable on behalf of trucking accident victims and their families," Munley said.

About Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C.

Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C. is a Pennsylvania truck accident law firm that represents tractor trailer accident victims throughout the Northeast, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. The firm has an extensive record of successful verdicts and settlements, and its truck accident attorneys have been nationally recognized for their expertise in state and federal trucking regulations. To learn more about the firm’s truck accident litigation team, call (800) 318-LAW1 or use its online form.

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