Truckers Battle Over Work Hours
Battling Work Hours
Despite setbacks in the struggle, truckers continue to fight for better safety regulations. The changes to trucking laws have negatively impacted productivity by at least 3 to 5 percent, according to the American Trucking Association?without promising any real solution for driver fatigue.
The ATA and other groups want to repeal certain aspects of the DOT's latest regulations. Most specifically:
- The 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. rule
- The requirement for two consecutive 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. off periods does not properly ensure safety and instead presents a logistics nightmare.
- CSA safety scores
- The DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration uses numbers that can be inaccurate and misleading. These scores must be revised so the public gets the most accurate information.
More trucks are on the road during daytime, including rush hour traffic, because regulations keep many trucks off the road between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. That endangers everyone.
In fact, the rules put more pressure on drivers to get in their mileage within the legal hours. Nobody should want truckers to feel rushed and stressed while driving.
Truckers have reason to look forward to trucking laws getting fixed. The FMCSA has acknowledged some negative consequences of the laws, although they have not taken action swiftly.
Also, an amendment by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), which would have repealed much of the new regulation, was approved by the Senate before ultimately being nixed. That was during a time of negative publicity because of a Walmart truck crash that killed one person and injured celebrity Tracy Morgan.
Truckers continue to push for better safety scores and a better method of preventing driver fatigue. The current rules are not working, but it will take more efforts to get the DOT to reevaluate and do the right thing.