Truck Driver Work Hours Appealed

Truck Driver Work Hours Appealed

For the second time in the past couple of years, a federal appeals court denied the Bush administration’s regulation that increased the number of hours truck drivers were allowed to drive without resting.

The U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with Public Citizen that its guidelines under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) hours-of service rule for truck drivers was risky for other motorists on the road, due to trucking accidents.

Driver Laws In Place

These guidelines, which were passed in 2005, increased the amount of hours that truck drivers were able to drive weekly without taking a break.

Public Citizen’s second suit against FMCSA argued against the provision that allowed truckers to drive for as long as 11 hours before resting.

They also spoke up against the revision that enables truck drivers to restart their weekly hours after they had taken a 34-hour break.

Under this revision, drivers are given the option to drive for 77 hours in seven days or for eight hours within an eight-day period.

The Decision

Truck driving industry laws have been debated throughout the years due to safety concerns.

Officials believe many accidents could be prevented from truck driver fatigue if the America begins realizing how crucial the problem is.

“The trucking profession has become ‘sweatshops on wheels’ because of the excessive and unsafe hours of work and driving time required of truck drivers,” explained Daphne Izer, the founder of Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT).

Izer’s 17-year old son, Jeff, and three of his friends were killed in a car accident due to truck driver fatigue.

According to Bonnie Robin-Vergeer, a Public Citizen lawyer, “Congress directed FMCSA to make safety its highest priority and to revise the hours-of-service rules to decrease fatigue-related truck crashes.”

(Source: Public Citizen)

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