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Trucking Hours Rule Rollback Could be Included in Budget Deal


Posted on behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Dec 10, 2014 in Truck Accidents

This past fall we wrote a post regarding the public’s feeling about drowsy truck drivers behind the wheel of trucks. In that post we referenced a survey commissioned by the Truck Safety Coalition and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety that indicated 80 percent of those surveyed did not support an increase in the number of hours a truck driver is allowed to drive, from 70 to 82 a week. In this post we provide an update on the matter.

Recently it was announced that it is possible that a provision designed to do that very thing, could be added to a year-end budget deal. Among other things, the provision being considered would call for a study on the impact of the 34-hour rest period concerning the number of crashes that occurred during the day when drivers have to be on the road. During that study, which would be conducted by The American Trucking Associations, the second nighttime rest period would be suspended. According to one senator, that particular provision has not yet been resolved and is under discussion between negotiators in both the Senate as well as the House.

This is ultimately an issue that affects everyone who shares the road with trucks. Between the years of 2009 and 2012, the number of fatal crashes involving trucks throughout the nation, continually increased. In 2012, more than 3,900 people died. Likely based at least in part upon this information, U.S. Transportation Secretary does not support the measure.

Right now it is not clear how the matter will ultimately be handled and whether the decision will be in line with the public’s opinion. We will provide updates as they become available.