Nearly 2,800 commercial vehicle crashes were reported in Orange County, Florida in 2016 – a nearly 10 percent increase over the previous year, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Truck crashes like these wreak havoc on our roads, and cost hundreds of lives and thousands of serious injuries in Florida alone. Orange County tallied nearly 600 commercial vehicle accident injuries and 20 deaths just in a single year alone.
All of this makes the recent report from The Drive all the more troubling. The report indicates that a commercial driver licensing school in Florida (with locations in both Miami and Labelle) reportedly was severed from its contract with the FHSMV after it reportedly engaged in conduct that posed an immediate, serious danger to public safety and welfare. Specifically, the school allegedly left out key parts of the required three-part skill test that it gave to students, and further tweaked testing data it provided on CDL skill test score sheets. Once officials form the state began sitting in on classes and the testing process, the scores plummeted from a 60 percent pass rate to just 11 percent.
In addition to cutting off ties with the school, the state agency has informed some 1,500 licensed truckers in the state who received their licensing through the facility that they have just two months to redo their tests – and pass them – if they hope to hang on to their commercial licenses.
The Drive tried to contact the school, but did not receive comment. The website is still operational, though, and boasts educational sites at some 100 locations across the country. That has serious implications for commercial trucking safety, considering how many students these schools graduate on a regular basis.
Other trucking schools were quick to say that such practices are not tolerated at their sites. Commercial truck driving training is in high demand, given that students have the potential to invest relatively little time to enter a field where they can often quickly find well-paying jobs. That’s good for the economy, but not so much if the drivers aren’t well-prepared for the rigors of the roads. Truck driver hours are long and tedious, and many often battle fatigue – which only heightens the risk of accidents, particularly if the driver isn’t well-trained.
Our Orlando truck accident lawyers know trucking carriers who employ truckers without ensuring they have received proper training may be held directly liable in crashes that were the trucker’s fault for inadequate training and supervision. They may also be held vicariously liable (meaning plaintiff does not need to prove negligence) as long as plaintiffs can show the trucker was negligent and was acting in the course and scope of employment at the time of the crash.
Unfortunately, this latest report of misconduct by the Florida driving school isn’t a totally isolated incident. Three years ago in Orlando, a commercial trucking school was found to have used fraudulent methods to assist drivers in obtaining commercial driver licenses, even though they only spoke and read Russian. After that incident, approximately 2,000 truckers had to be retested to keep their CDL.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
Florida Says Commercial Truck Driving School Cooked Test Results, Nov. 17, 2017, By Kate Gibson, The Drive
More Blog Entries:
Landowner May be Liable for Crash Injuries – But Only in Some Circumstances, Nov. 30, 2017, Orlando Truck Accident Layer Blog