In a settlement reached between the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Public Citizen, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the Truck Safety Coalition, the FMCSA will conduct another rulemaking regarding the hours-of-service that commercial truckers are allowed to drive. The current regulation lets truckers drive for 11-hours/per shift.
Truck safety advocates are concerned that truck drivers are spending too much time on the road without being required to take a break, which can lead to driver fatigue—a common cause of Washington DC truck accidents and truck collisions in the rest of the United States.
The FMCSA has nine months to begin a rulemaking process and submit notice of it to the Office of Management and Budget. It will have a year to issue a final rule. During this time, the current rules will continue to apply.
While the American Trucking Associations plans to take part in the rulemaking process, it also intends to prove that the current hours-of-service rules shouldn’t be revised. However, although the number of truck accidents a year has dropped since the new rules went into effect, truck safety advocates still believe that more can be done to prevent truck crash injuries and deaths.
Large trucks continue to be a cause of serious injury to victims. Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, internal injuries, and death can result. One common cause of tragic truck crashes is driver negligence. One way to decrease the number of truck crash deaths is for the government to develop regulations that require truckers to drive their vehicles responsibly and safely.
FMCSA to reconsider hours rules, Etrucker.com
Obama administration considers changing rules for truckers, Pennlive.com, November 8, 2009
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