Proposed Trucking Hours of Service Rules Not Adequate to Safeguard Roads

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For Immediate Release: March 3, 2011

Contact: Jennifer Fuson
202-965-3500 x8369
AAJ Press Room

                                   

Proposed Trucking Hours of Service Rules Not Adequate to Safeguard Roads

FMSCA Must Mandate 10-Hour Limits for Truck Drivers
 

Washington, DC—Proposed rules for commercial truck drivers do not provide the adequate level of protection needed to prevent driver fatigue, according to comments submitted today by the American Association for Justice (AAJ).   The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recommended a 10-hour driving time limit, but indicated they are open to maintaining the current 11-hour requirement.   

Every year more than 4,000 people are killed in accidents involving trucks, according to the FMCSA.  The National Transportation Safety Board has said driver fatigue is a factor in 30 to 40 percent of these crashes.  In fact, research shows the risk of a crash increases twofold after eight hours of consecutive driving, and driver fatigue is the leading contributing factor in truck driver deaths from crashes. 

“Driver fatigue puts not only the truck driver workforce at risk, but also other passengers who share the road.  Ensuring our roads are safe should be the FMCSA’s top priority,” said AAJ President Gibson Vance.

AAJ also opposes FMCSA’s proposed 34-hour restart period, which would allow truck drivers to bypass the 60/70-hour duty limit.  This 34-hour restart period cannot ensure a truck driver receives proper rest.  AAJ recommends that the FMCSA mandate a 48-hour restart requirement to provide commercial truck drivers with greater rest and recovery time after working long hours.  It would also shorten the work week, meaning less fatigued drivers and safer highways.

For a copy of the comments, please contact AAJ’s Jennifer Fuson: jennifer.fuson@justice.org / 202-965-3500 x8609.

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