Despite the occasional driver who refuses to turn their blinker on or an elderly slow-rider, we generally want to believe that everyone on the road is a safe and abiding citizen with the right to be driving on the road. When it comes to cargo carriers and large, 18-wheeler trucks, that assumption, or hope, is threefold. The sheer size and weight of a big-rig truck sets an uneasy feeling in many driver’s stomachs to even pass them by. To our dismay, there are many trucking companies and private cargo carriers on the road operating under what we know as chameleon carriers.
Chameleon carriers, sometimes known as reincarnated carriers, are vehicles that have been registered under a new license, business name, insurance company or all of the above, trying to mask previous violations or fines due. Instead of complying to government regulations, certain companies or carriers will decide to avoid incurring payments or fees by simply closing their business and reopening under a new name. By concealing themselves behind a new insurance policy, they ultimately are able to continue their business as usual with a seemingly clean slate.
To some this may seem more tactical than hazardous, however it’s become clear these chameleon carrier owners are less concerned with risk than return. Some of these carriers are re-opening after not just a few speeding tickets or parking violations, they are reopening after driving under the influence, fatal accidents, and even worse, combinations of the two. These companies’ carriers pose a threat not only to their owners and employees, but to everyone they share the road with.
In 2017 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) urged the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to more thoroughly review new applicants, strongly suggesting a new method of screening and analysis before approving new carriers. On one hand, it’s a good thing the GAO is addressing the issue. On another hand, how successful will urges and strong suggestions go? We can only hope to see stricter laws and regulations regarding big-rig trucks and cargo carriers. For now, follow the rules of the road and abide by safe driving. If you ever feel you are near a dangerous vehicle, cargo carrier or not, be sure to steer clear. It is better to pull over and wait than be in a hurry and be the one to discover a chameleon on the road.
For any disputes or assistance with trucking-related accidents, do not hesitate to call our team of attorneys at Buckingham & Vega Law. We are here for you and your family, 24/7. Call today for a free consultation.