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Federal Regulators Want Anti-Rollover Brakes on Tankers

Posted on September 13, 2011 to

David Schloss

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) thinks tanker trucks are prone to rollover accidents. As a result, the federal agency wants the trucks to come with anti-rollover brakes, in addition to other improvements to improve stability and reduce truck accidents.

According to todaystrucking.com, the NTSB’s recommendations come in the wake of its investigation of a serious 2009 truck rollover accident near Indianapolis. A propane truck swerved to avoid a car and rolled over through a guardrail. The truck driver survived, but the rollover caused petroleum gas to leak from the tanker and to form a vapor cloud. The vapor cloud started a fire.

The NTSB recommended that trucking regulatory agencies establish stability control system standards for all commercial motor vehicles. It also wants regulatory bodies to identify which cargo tank designs are more prone to failure. The NTSB lacks regulatory authority over the trucking regulatory agencies; it can only make recommendations.

For its part, spokespersons for the trucking industry say that retrofitting certain tankers puts workers at risks and is a tremendous cost financially. Even if done, enforcing the new regulations would be difficult, said one spokesperson. The trucking agencies have 90 days to respond to the NTSB’s safety recommendations.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.

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