New trucking regulations aren’t just for the truck drivers

On behalf of Mike Clancy

In July, new federal regulations went into effect that altered the rules truck drivers must abide by. These rules include mandatory breaks lasting at least 30 minutes during the first eight hours of a shift. Those shifts must now be limited to 70 hours per week. That is a reduction of 12 hours from the previous rules. Under the new regulations, a driver must also refrain from working for 34 hours after the 70, the course of which must include two overnight periods spanning over 1 a.m. and 5a.m.

These regulations have not been met with enthusiasm from the entire trucking industry. Some truck drivers have said that it makes their jobs a lot more complicated and difficult than they already are. For instance, long-distance drivers say that the 34-hour break could cause them to lose money on slow pickup days, like Sunday, if the 34-hour break lands at the wrong time.

The regulations imposed on the trucking industry are not implemented with the intent to annoy or make a driver’s life more difficult. According to the administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these new ones were “data-based, research-based” and “fully vetted.”

Even if the rules have that complicating effect, lawmakers must take more than the truck driver’s interests into account. The safety of every other driver that shares the road must be considered too. There’s a balance, a weighing that must be done.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted data analysis concerning these new regulations. Their informed estimate is that the new regulations will help decrease the number of trucking accidents by at least 1,400 per year, resulting in approximately 19 fewer fatalities annually.

Guess who doesn’t have to weigh everyone’s concerns? On the other end of the spectrum, a Chicago personal injury attorney has only the victim of a trucking accident’s interests to consider.

Source: Fox Business, “Truckers Cry Foul Over New Government Regulations,” Kathryn Buschman Vasel, Nov. 26, 2013

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New trucking regulations aren’t just for the truck drivers