Debra L. Broz

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Relaxing trucker hours-of-service rules a threat to public safety

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2019 | truck accidents

For some time now, truck drivers across Kentucky and the nation have argued that the current rules dictating when they must stop and rest are too restrictive. Now, changes may loom in terms of how long and how often today’s truck drivers must rest. Debra Broz, Attorneys at Law, PLC, understand that relaxing trucker drive-time regulations means more fatigued truck drivers would be traveling U.S. roadways, and we also have considerable experience helping clients hurt in crashes involving fatigued truckers seek recourse in the aftermath.

Per the L.A. Times, those supporting the proposed changes to trucker drive-time rules and regulations believe that doing so would put more “put more power back in the hands of the drivers and motor carriers,” with some attesting that it would allow them to spend more time with their families. Those opposed to the possible changes, however, note that tractor-trailer-involved highway fatalities are rising already, with 4,657 fatal truck crashes reported in 2017, which is a 10% increase from 2016.

At the moment, commercial truckers can only have 11 hours of actual drive time within any 14-hour on-duty stint, and they must 10 full hours off before they can start the process over again. There are also rules in place dictating that truck drivers must take 30-minute off-duty breaks before logging eight hours of drive time.

The proposed changes to these regulations would weaken these regulations, giving truckers more flexibility, but at what cost? Commercial trucks already present a public hazard simply because of their size and weight, but if the professionals commandeering those trucks are also driving fatigued, they present even more of a threat to the public. Find more about truck wrecks on our webpage.