The laws of 22 states require truckers to rest and take meal breaks more frequently than the federal government’s minimum standards. Considering that fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck-related accidents, it is actually surprising that more states don’t have laws like this, but the trucking industry is taking action to make sure other states don’t make trucker rest laws.
How Is The Trucking Industry Fighting Driver Fatigue Laws?
Back in December, a provision in a massive transportation bill was taken out. The provision would have made federal regulations preempt tougher state regulations built to prevent trucker fatigue. This provision had come about after the trucking industry challenged the authority of state laws in court, but that attempt to dodge state law was defeated then as it was in December. However, the trucking industry has not given up.
Why Does An Aviation Bill Have Rules About Truckers?
A bill introduced in early February by Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster has reintroduced the provision that was written out of the transportation bill. This time the provision has been attached to a bill meant to overhaul the Federal Aviation Administration, and right now the article is flying under the radar. If the truck driver fatigue provision goes unnoticed, and the bill is passed, then states would no longer be able to regulate driver fatigue. This has many experts worried.
What Would Happen If The Bill Was Passed?
The American Trucking Associations claims that the provision will allow trucking companies to plan cross-state routes more effectively while the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) argues against the move. The IBT claims that allowing federal law to preempt state laws on trucker fatigue would allow trucking companies to abuse their drivers and force them to drive without rest or food. The organization also claims that the provision is a play for money, considering that it also prevents truckers from being paid to perform duties such as pre-trip safety inspections.
The American people can’t afford to have their safety endangered by greed, so speak up to your local government representatives and keep following our blog for more information about protecting your freedoms and safety.
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