U.S. senators, safety advocacy groups, and victims and survivors of fatigue-related truck crashes yesterday appealed to the U.S. Department of Transportation to modify the new proposed hours of service rules.
The groups expressed concern over the increase in maximum continuous drive time from 10 to 12 hours.
Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Max Cleland of Georgia joined Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Public Citizen, Parents Against Tired Truckers, and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways in calling for aggressive reform of current hours of service regulations.
"Increasing the consecutive driving hours for truck drivers is inhumane and rolls us back to pre-depression era working conditions," said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. "This dangerous proposal will result in a dramatic increase in the risk of crashes."
Jerry Donaldson, Senior Research Director of Advocates, said claims that the new rule would force the use of thousands of additional trucks and drivers are misleading. "There is no need to have more trucks on the road at any given time, because the new proposal will result in many drivers off duty during the time other trucks are pressed into service."