New Hours of Service Regs Fail to Reverse 11 Hour Rule for Truck Drivers

New hours of service regulations for truck drivers have failed to reverse the 2003 change by the Bush administration increasing to 11 hours the time drivers can be behind the wheel each day.  The new rules by the Federa Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 49 CFR §395.3, offer some improvements, including a shorter work week and a required 30-minute rest break after eight hours on duty. For nearly 70 years, the limit had been 10 hours, until the 2003 change. 

 “It’s no secret that truckers often drive when they’re tired. In a 2005 survey the agency commissioned, 65% of truckers reported they sometimes or often felt drowsy while driving. And nearly 48% said they had actually fallen asleep while driving during the previous year. Putting weary drivers behind the wheels of 40-ton rigs hurtling down interstates is a formula for tragedy.”

 The foregoing is a good quote from a commentary on the change, or lack thereof, appearing in USA Today, entitled, “New Transportation Rules Fall Short.”  The full article can be viewed at:

 http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/story/2011-12-28/pilot-fatigue-trucker-rules/52258154/1  

 The Final Rule on hours of service can be reviewed at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/hos-final/HOS-Final-Rule.pdf

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