Negligent drivers deserve to be held responsible for their actions. Whether they were distracted or impaired when they caused a car accident, they should be held liable for victims’ injuries and be prevented from creating similar dangers on the road in the future. However, some drivers, especially those driving commercial vehicles on the job, have developed tactics to avoid responsibility, avoid accountability, and continue to drive on our highways, shirking the federal mandates and laws.
“Masking” refers to a practice where commercial vehicle drivers avoid negative consequences as a result of the accidents they caused through a plea bargain. A plea bargain involves changing a commercial vehicle citation to a non-commercial vehicle citation or ordering the driver into a diversion program. By getting a prosecutor or judge to agree to this change, drivers can have their driving records falsified, and remain on the road.
While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has identified masking as a major traffic safety issue, a survey conducted by the National Judicial College has revealed that 56% of surveyed judges didn’t know what masking was.
The lack of awareness of masking in the court system is alarming to some, as judges who are unfamiliar with the tactic are less likely to recognize it in a case and allow violators to continue endangering other drivers on highways and roads. A 2018 study by the American Transportation Research Institute found that traffic regulation violators were 63 to 114 percent more likely to be involved in crashes.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S ROLE
Currently, federal regulations prohibit masking and state that U.S. states “must not mask, defer imposition of judgment, or allow an individual to enter into a diversion program that would prevent a CLP or CDL holder’s conviction for any violation, in any type of motor vehicle, of a State or local traffic control law (other than parking, vehicle weight, or vehicle defect violations) from appearing on the CDLIS driver record, whether the driver was convicted for an offense committed in the State where the driver is licensed or another State.”
The federal government strives to hold state judges and courts responsible for detecting masking. States that don’t comply with the regulations could potentially lose federal highway funds up to 4% after the first year of noncompliance, and up to 8% each year following.
PROTECTING DRIVERS ON THE ROAD THROUGH EFFECTIVE LEGAL COUNSEL
Financial recovery is necessary after a car accident. When you become injured, you can quickly rack up a debt due to medical bills, surgeries, prescription medications, loss of income, and pain and suffering. If you lost a loved in an accident, you may also have had to pay out-of-pocket for a burial and funeral. At Sanders Law, we work hard to achieve the results our clients need in order to heal. We’ve recovered millions of dollars for clients thanks to our commitment to keeping our community safe.
Call us for a free consultation if you’ve been injured due to driver negligence at (816) 844-6938, or contact us online. At Sanders Law, our car accident attorney is passionate about creating positive change in the lives of clients. Commercial vehicle drivers deserve to be held responsible for their actions following an accident, and you deserve to be compensated for your injuries.