Today’s Dallas Morning News has a good article about filing complaints about unsafe truck drivers. Here are some excerpts:
When The Dallas Morning News investigated truck safety in Texas in 2006, reporters heard from folks all over about flying debris or near-collisions with trucks.
And yes, truckers, we heard from you, too. We heard how cars cut you off, not realizing that it takes a football field for you to stop.
If you see an unsafe truck or truck driver on the road, file a complaint. To do so, you need the truck’s Texas Department of Transportation number or U.S. Department of Transportation number. These numbers identify the company for which the truck operates. It’s usually printed on or near the driver’s door.
You can file a complaint with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Motor Carrier Bureau by calling 512-424-2051512-424-2051.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says it investigates complaints filed against interstate carriers – trucks that operate across state lines. But when my colleague contacted the agency to file a complaint, he was told he would have to prove that the truck was on a multistate trip. If you’d like to file a complaint with the FMCSA, go to www.fmcsa.dot.gov or call 1-888-368-72381-888-368-7238.
You also should report the incident to the trucking company. Depending on the situation, the company’s insurance might pay for the damage to your vehicle. To find contact information for the company, check FMCSA’s or TxDOT’s Web sites for searchable databases of trucking companies.
The complaints that citizens and others file can result in an investigation by DPS or FMCSA known as a compliance review. Of the more than 2,100 complaints filed with DPS last year, about 7 percent were filed by citizens. Most – 77 percent – came from police officers. Investigations also are conducted after fatal accidents or at the request of another agency.
DPS took action against carriers in only a small percentage of complaints filed in 2007. In some cases, it turned investigations over to FMCSA or found that the carrier was not at fault. Nearly a fourth of the reviews were canceled because investigators did not meet an internal deadline for completing them. In cases in which it took enforcement actions, some companies were fined and a few were ordered to cease operations.
- Submit a complaint to FMCSA
- Look for company information and safety information for an interstate carrier
- Search Texas carrier safety ratings