In Washington D.C. on Thursday, truck safety advocates asked a federal court to block a ruling by the Transportation Department that lets commercial truckers work longer hours.
The Bush Administration had upped the number of hours that truck drivers could work without going on a break to 11 hours (prior to this rule, truck drivers were required to stop and rest after 10 hours). They are also allowed to drive up to 70 hours a week.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Web site lists the Hours-Of-Service Rules for Truck Drivers:
• Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers can only drive 11 hours maximum after 10 hours off duty.
• CMV Drivers cannot drive after the 14th hour on duty.
• CMV Drivers cannot drive after 60/70 hours on duty within 7/8 workdays in a row.
• CMV drivers with a berth in their truck have to take 10 hours off. They can split the time in the berth in two, although both times must not last less than two hours.
Truck safety advocates convinced a federal court to block the implementation of this rule. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, however, was still able to implement an interim rule, which places the maximum number of hours a day that a trucker can drive at 11 hours. Advocates now want a federal court to block this rule.
Driver fatigue is a primary cause of truck accidents that can lead to serious injuries and the wrongful death of innocent motorists, motorcyclists, passengers, and pedestrians.
Lawsuit seeks to limit truckers’ hours, CNN.com, December 21, 2007
Hours-of-Service Regulations, FMCSA
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