Holders of Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) in Arkansas and other US states continue to work at a frenzied pace to keep up with the demand for necessary consumer goods, such as medicines, meats, fresh produce, canned goods, paper products, and more.
As of March 24, 2020, FMCSA is waiving the application of certain regulations regarding expired CDLs and/or medical cards. The grant of waiver means that many operators of semis, box trucks, 18-wheelers, and other commercial vehicles can continue to work regardless of the fact that their credentials would not be accepted under non-emergency circumstances.
“I understand the urgent need for this move by the FMCSA. The COVID-19 pandemic affects us all. However, I have concerns about how the waiver might increase the risk of truck accidents on Arkansas highways.”
If a learners’ permit, CDL, or Medical Certificate is expired, there will be no enforcement efforts as long as credentials were current as of March 1, 2020.
“This doesn’t give truck operators carte blanche from legal requirements on a permanent basis. The waiver doesn’t absolve drivers, their employers, trucking companies, and other potential parties from liability. It simply means that they won’t get fines or CDL suspensions from operating their vehicles. In the event of an accident, victims still have the same legal rights that apply for all truck crashes.”
Under Arkansas law, a person who is injured by a negligent truck operator can recover damages for a wide range of losses. Regardless of whether the misconduct is linked to CDL regulations or other issues, victims can obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. There are also legal options for surviving family members who lose a loved one in a truck accident, through an Arkansas wrongful death claim.
Contact Elliott and Smith to discuss your case.