Teamsters General President James Hoffa and International Longshoremen's Association President John Bowers have thrown their support behind legislation requiring that all chassis sent out onto the highways have a record of inspections and repairs including the repair history.
Under HR 2863,the “Intermodal Equipment Safety and Responsibility Act of 2003,” any chassis needing repair will be red tagged and quarantined, and it will be a violation of law to assign an unsafe chassis to a port driver.
The current practice at Maritime ports is to forgo the preventative maintenance and wait until the brakes or bearings fail. This policy has led to a rash of deadly but preventable accidents in which innocent motorists fall victim, said Hoffa.
He cited the recent $23.5 million award to the family of a New Jersey physician killed on route 17 in Bergen County in a crash caused by the failure of the brakes in a Port of Newark truck chassis. Also in the last two months, eight people were killed in Chicago, six near Long Beach, California and one in Texas all because of equipment failure.
Many other truck stakeholders support the legislation including the American Trucking Assns.