The Texas Legislature is considering HB 19, a bill that would place every person on Texas roads in danger. Currently, the state of Texas leads the nation in injuries and deaths caused by truck accidents. If passed, HB 19 would make it easier for companies to cut corners in the name of profits. Even worse, it would restrict those harmed by truck accidents from seeking complete accountability.
Simply put, Texas House Bill 19 makes our roads more dangerous and places drivers at risk of serious injury by reducing the accountability of their employers.
What HB 19 Does
Often, truck operators have a long history of misconduct before their behavior causes serious injury or death. HB 19 would limit a truck accident victim’s discovery window to the last 24 months of a company’s history. That means that much of a company’s recent negligent conduct—including false driving logs, poor maintenance, and unqualified drivers—can be left out of a person’s case.
In essence, HB 19 enables trucking companies to get away with unsafe behavior by giving them a two-year window of forgiveness for it. If a person is unlucky enough to get in an accident too close to this two-year window, they might have difficulty holding the truck company accountable for their suffering. Moreover, truck companies will have less incentive to prevent accidents, depending on their recent history.
Currently, truck companies already push the boundaries of safety by pressuring drivers to perform long, difficult hauls in short timeframes. With this law, truck operators can factor in the probability of escaping complete accountability for their practices. In some ways, it’s almost as though Texas House Bill 19 is encouraging companies to throw safety in their backseat and focus on profits.
What You Can Do to Stop Texas House Bill 19
The best thing to do about HB 19 is let your representatives know about your concerns with it. To find your state representative, visit this site. Once you enter your address, you’ll see who your representatives are and can click on their names to contact them.
If you decide to reach out, inform your representative about the negative effects of this bill and how it places everyone—from truck drivers to those in small vehicles—in danger on the road.