Highway safety is everyone’s responsibility, but this is especially true for truck drivers who are flying down the highway with several tons of steel under their control. Of course, there are many factors that can affect the safety of a truck on the highway, but the driver is ultimately going to be responsible if something goes wrong. For this reason, rules and regulations have been put in place to try and keep drivers safe while on their routes.
One of these regulations has been in the news lately because it will affect all long haul truckers and the companies they work for greatly. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the group that regulates truck driver safety for the federal government, and they have made a ruling in regards to the Hours of Service (HOS) for truck drivers.
In the past, truck drivers were able to drive for a total of 82 hours in a 7 day period, the new ruling now states that a maximum of 70 hours is allowed over the 7 day period. In addition to lowering the weekly total hours, the new ruling states that a driver must take a 30 minute break every eight hours of driving. Both of these new rules were put in place to allow the driver more time to rest, so he is more alert when driving. These changes were made by the FMCSA for the safety of the drivers and the people that share the roads with them.
The change was not received very approvingly by the trucking firms, as this change will affect their “bottom line.” In fact, they are challenging the ruling to keep the regulations the same. Unfortunately for them, the government appears to be taking the side of safety over cash in this instance. In the end, the trucking firms and the drivers will end up losing some money as a result of this new ruling, but it is hard to deny that a well-rested trucker is going to be a safer trucker when it comes to the split second decisions that are required of a drivers.