Debate Continues on Hours-of-Service Rule
Safety has always been a popular topic in the trucking industry. The size and weight of commercial vehicles has always made them a bit intimidating to some members of the motoring public. And even if accident rates involving commercial vehicles have been shown to decrease over the past few years according to some statistics, many safety groups are still focused on using legislation in their attempt to make the industry safer.
A new provision regarding breaks for truck drivers has drawn the attention of these groups. Proposed changes to the hours-of-service rule have caused fierce debate regarding trucker safety to resume. The groups wrote: “We are writing to convey our strong objections to any riders being attached to the government funding bill that will repeal or revise truck safety laws and regulations. Any efforts by special interests to rollback or degrade truck safety for the economic benefit of the trucking industry are unacceptable and unconscionable given the current mortality and morbidity toll on our roadways.”
The proposed switch was briefly implemented in 2013. However, it was suspended later. It would have modified the 34-hour “restart” rule for truckers. This is an amount of time that drivers can take in order to reset their driving limit after they reach the cap of 60 hours in a week or 70 hours in eight days.
The new law would have mandated that each restart period include two nights in that break, with no driving between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., and said that truckers could only use one restart per week. The rule effectively would have limited truck drivers to 70 hours a week.