Are the Proposed Truck Driver Safety Regulations Unsafe?

The U.S. Transportation Department has proposed new safety regulations that would limit truck drivers' hours to 10 hours per day, down from the current limit of 11 hours daily, and reduce their overnight shifts. But the National Retail Federation on Friday said the changes would not only raise business costs, but also would likely result in more -- not fewer -- collisions.

The proposed rules would increase the number of truck deliveries during the most congested hours, boosting transportation costs by as much as 20% because deliveries would take more time and, as a result, require more trucks for the same number of deliveries, the federation claims. Also, it adds, more wrecks would likely ensue.

"Any change to this daily driving limit will upset the careful balance and efficiencies that have been achieved and require changes to those new systems and processes," David French, the federation's senior vice president for government relations, said in a statement. "In addition, such changes could result in significantly higher transportation costs and could lead to less safety as additional drivers and trucks will be required to make up for the shortfall."

The Transportation Department's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed the limits in December in an effort to reduce the number of roadway collisions that may be caused by trucker fatigue. In 2008, trucks were involved in about 365,000 wrecks, about 1% of which involved fatalities. The safety administration, which has until July to issue the rules, in December estimated that fatigue causes between 2% and 13% of truck collisions.

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KevinBeair

anytime you have the government trying to dictate how someone should do their job you will have less safety, the truck driver is the best one to determine if driving at a paticular time is safe or not. When the govt made the 14 hour rule truck drivers got screwed because then that meant that most of them were going to work 14 hours a day every day.

March 07 2011 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Beautiful

It is time for the Teamsters union to get off their collective butts and use the money that they take from us every month and do their job by lobbying congress for real reform. How about background checks, and CDL requirements for everyone who gets behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle and drives it anywhere within the boarders of the United States not just U.S. citizens. How about requirements to read and speak english so they know what the road signs say ? There is a big safety issue. Charge fees for these trucks coming in from Mexico and Canada with foreign drivers. The Feds always want their hand in our pocket, here is a way to make some jack to help pay off the horrendous debt they have stuck us with.

March 05 2011 at 10:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Beautiful's comment
iamthatgood000

i guess you havent heard the teamsters arent in anything to help the drivers.teamsters had their chance years ago to support the independent truckers over rising fuel costs,health benefits and hos rule changes.they turned their back on the drivers when the independent drivers wanted to strike over issues.instead of fighting wal-marts buying of congress to change the hos rules,theyve spent over a decade of trying to force wal-mart and ups to join the union.and as far as i know,american trucking companies do background checks and have cdl requirements already in place,which is why the american border has not been opened yet to mexican trucks.go teamsters,lol.......

March 06 2011 at 8:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KevinBeair

when will less govt be the answer?

March 07 2011 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
priority109

and NOW add the obama approval for the messican trucks to roll in here unimpeded---contact your reps for the usual game.....

March 05 2011 at 7:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to priority109's comment
iamthatgood000

obama approval?lol,this was an agreement by bush sr and delayed until the trucks couldnt roll in here unimpeded.why is it that americans always blame the wrong person or administration in their rush to post a view that relects obvious racism?

March 06 2011 at 8:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
iamthatgood000

its amazing to me that in spite of federal studies showing 75% of most truck/car accidents are caused by the car drivers,they still want to play with the truckers.i drive for a refer company and the customers we pick up for and deliver to abuse the hours of service.its common to sit 4-5 hours waiting to load/unload,which takes away from a drivers legal 14 hour day.the loading delay then screws up the unloading appointments.if a driver is late because of the shipper,the receiver doesnt care and penalizes the driver by making him wait.instead of trying to figure out the best hours of service for drivers providing a need,why doesnt the federal government start paying the drivers out of penalties imposed on shippers that set appointments for trucks and fail to get them loaded on time?

March 05 2011 at 3:47 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to iamthatgood000's comment
bigpapapuff425

I haul steel, just locally, home every night. These regulations would not hurt me personally, but would hurt the industry as a whole and truck drivers such as yourself. Now with the new CSA regulations that are supposed to "weed out" the bad drivers and bad carriers, it would seem that the federal goverment is on a witch hunt to see how many drivers thay can put out of driving, thereby causing major driver shortages. But not to worry as the feds have approved Mexican truck drivers to truck into our country, even though they drive twenty year old junk equipment. Could this be part of a master plan by our 'wonderful' government to make the Mexican government happy? Time will tell.

March 05 2011 at 5:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
iamthatgood000

big papa,i do believe we have a much too long day as it is right now.i made more miles with the 10 on,8 off hos rules and did it more safely.right now with the 14 hour rule companies can screw with the loading/unloading times,screw the driver out of running miles which leads to a drive doctoring a log book in order to make said delivery.that in turn makes it a possible 16-20 hour work day,which defeats the hos rules.you and i both know it happens.as far as the csa rules,any incident,even if the driver is not at fault,will reflect the csa scores.lately,i have been refusing to fix the coloring book,as its not my fault shippers take forever to load while facing just a $25 per hour detention fee.raise it to 100 bucks and the shippers will just pass it on to the consumer like always.its a lose-lose situation in this business....and no one cares while the american truck driver has no balls to strike over major issues....

March 06 2011 at 8:36 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
frisco9312

enforce the current rules, these would put 10% more drivers on the road is that smart?

March 05 2011 at 8:49 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
frisco9312

enforce the current rules, these would put 10% more drivers on the road is that smart?

March 05 2011 at 8:49 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
scottee

jobs will not come back until the government gets really smaller, taxes get really simpler and fairer and markets are free. ............ as long as there is a trillion dollar national debt, as long as The Fed is printing and diluting our dollar and manipulating stock prices, gold prices and interest rates, and as long as both parties in Congress are social engineering via the tax code, things will not...cannot improve....it's that simple!

March 05 2011 at 7:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply