The Trump administration has taken a step closer to calming federal regulations governing the period of time truck drivers can spend behind the wheel, a movement which was long sought by the trucking industry, but opposed by security advocates who warn it might lead to more road accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency of the Transportation Department, on Wednesday, issued proposed changes to the hours of service, rules that dictate breaks truckers are expected to take, and their time on and off duty. It puts a little more energy back into the hands of the drivers and motor carriers, bureau head Raymond Martinez said.
Martinez said the bureau listened to drivers and their phones for rules. But street safety groups have warned that putting the revisions into place would weaken the rules. The government is offering flexibility without regard for the fact that these weakened rules might be exploited by the worst actors in the market, said Harry Adler, executive director of the truck security coalition. There were trucks involved with fatal crashes in 2017, a ten percent increase from the year before, based on a May report issued by the bureau. Trade bands that represented truck drivers and motor carriers have pushed for many years for fewer rules about hours of support, asserting that the regulations out of step with the every day realities confronting most truck drivers.
They found a supporter from President Trump, who has made rolling layers of regulatory supervision a priority. With the flexibility is huge, Terry Button, a hay farmer, and Truck Owner out of NY, said Wednesday. It is great that the government took the time to listen to the individuals who do the job. , Button has logged about 4 million miles since it began driving in 1976. The present regulations restrict long haul truckers at 11 hours of driving time within 14 hours on the obligation window. Applicants should have 10 consecutive hours of service before the obligation clock starts afresh.
A motorist who’ll be driving more than 8 hours should take a 30-minute off-obligation break before hitting the eight-hour mark. Under the proposed revisions, truckers may take a break while they’re on duty, but not driving. Passengers have complained that long waits for cargo to be loaded or unloaded maintain them idle besides they are needed to take an off duty break, even when they don’t will need to rest or can’t find parking for a large rig. The administration also is proposing to permit drivers to pause, the 14-hour driving window to get an off duty break of up to 3 hours, provided the driver always takes the 10 consecutive hours of rest towards the end of the work shift.