Lawmakers Block Safety Rules to Tighten Tired Driver Regulations
Proposed rules to ensure truck drivers get sufficient rest when working long hours were recently blocked by Republican lawmakers. The safety rules were introduced by the Obama administration and were intended to reduce risks associated with tired truck drivers. As many experts and lawmakers believe, the recent congressional block could signal the start of a larger rollback of transportation safety regulations, especially with a new congress and President.
The safety regulations blocked with a provision in a government spending bill included safety rules that mandate rest periods. Specifically, the rule required truck drivers to take two nights off following a work week up to 75 hours.
The 35-hour mandatory break following a work week also includes requirements that the 35-hour period include two breaks from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. This rule was based on scientific studies that indicate sleep during early morning hours is crucial for people to feel refreshed and to reduce crash risks. With this rule now suspended, truck drivers can get back behind the wheel during those hours following the 35-hour break.
Additional transportation safety efforts that will gain support with the incoming administration include:
- Increasing weight limits for certain commercial carriers to over 90,000 pounds
- Increasing the length of trailers in carriers with double-trailers from 28 feet to 33 feet
- Easing federal regulations over self-driving vehicles
As Georgia’s premier truck accident firm, we stay close to legislative changes and trends involving transportation safety. We know regulations are critical to keeping roadways safe, which is why we always investigate truck accidents for signs of safety violations, including violations of Hours-of-Service rules meant to prevent fatigued drivers from getting behind the wheel of large commercial trucks.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a trucking accident, our team at Terry D. Jackson, P.C. is available to review your case, inform you of your legal rights, and discuss how we may be able to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, contact us today.