Thursday, January 21, 2010

Are Trucking Rules On the Exit Ramp?

In 2003, the Bush Administration successfully implemented new "hours of service" trucking regulations that changed the number of hours U.S. truck drivers can spend behind the wheel from 10 to 11 hours per shift.

The rules also bumped required driving time from 60 to 77 hours every week, and required truckers to get back to work after 34 hours off instead of 50.

Between 2004 and 2005 - the first 12 months the rule changes were in effect - fatal crashes involving truckers increased 20%. The Truck Safety Coalition estimates more than 20,000 truckers died in collisions between 2003 and 2006 alone.

Now the Teamsters Union is telling federal regulators that the rules need to head down the sunset highway.

"We must protect our truck drivers' health and safety," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "Study after study shows that more time behind the wheel is dangerous for truckers and for the driving public."

Here's another story on the topic from yesterday's Journal of Commerce.

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