A Chicago-area truck crash that killed four has led to local attention to federal hours-of-service rules, the mandatory electronic logs proposal, and federal efforts to address coercion of drivers to break the law.

Truck driver Francisco Espinal Quiroz, 51, of Leesburg, Ind., was involved in a crash Monday, July 21, on Interstate 55 that killed four people, including an 11-year-old girl, near Channahon, southwest of Chicago.

Quiroz was charged with failure to reduce speed to prevent an accident and willfully making false entries in his logbook. According to published reports, other charges, including reckless homicide, are possible.

The Chicago Tribune followed up with a story about the "pressing need" to move away from paper logbooks to an electronic system. "Under the slow-moving federal rule-making process, mandatory e-logs aremore than two years away," the article reports, citing tales of two other Illinois crashes where falsified paper logs were involved.

Trending on Twitter this week is a compelling news video by a local station that follows up on the horrific truck crash with a story of trucker coercion.

CBS2 in Chicago, in a segment that is relatively un-sensationalized compared to a lot of TV news articles about trucking, talks about the issue of truck drivers being forced to run over hours and with unsafe trucks by unscrupulous trucking companies.

It paints a picture of truck drivers as mostly responsible and conscientious, being pushed by a few bad-apple trucking operations. It focused on one in particular, Illinois-based Brave Lines Inc., talking to two former drivers who said they got fed up with the situation and quit.

I looked up Brave Lines' CSA scores. This 20-truck carrier with a CSA score in the HOS BASIC of 96.80. That means its hours of service compliance is worse than about 97% of the other carriers in its group. Its unsafe driving and vehicle maintenance scores aren't too hot, either. I hope this segment prompts officials to do a full compliance audit on this company. Watch the video on the CBS2 website.

Author

Deborah Lockridge
Deborah Lockridge

Deborah Lockridge

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology. 28 Jesse H. Neal honors.

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Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology. 28 Jesse H. Neal honors.

View Bio
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