A trucking association is petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to change service hours regulations for truck drivers in Florida and across the United States. The proposed changes would do away with a required 30-minute rest break and replace it with a rule that lets drivers pause their service clock to get a longer break.
According to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the current rules are needlessly complicated and do not offer any flexibility to drivers. The association also claims that the rules make truckers drive at inopportune times, such as when they are fatigued, the weather is bad and roads are busy. As a result, the group wants the FMCSA to change the current hours of service regulations.
Under current rules, truck drivers must take a 30-minute break within eight hours of the start of their shift. Drivers are also placed on a 14-hour shift clock that they cannot stop. However, the OOIDA proposes that the 30-minute break requirement be dropped in favor of letting drivers pause their 14-hour clock and take a rest break of up to three consecutive hours. A rule requiring that drivers take at least 10 straight hours off between shifts would remain unchanged. The group contends that the changes would make U.S. highways safer for all drivers.
Each year, truck accidents cause thousands of serious injuries, and many of them are due to truck driver fatigue. Injured victims might want to meet with an attorney in order to learn how to seek compensation for their losses.
Source: Overdrive Online, “OOIDA asks FMCSA to institute pause button for 14-hour clock“, James Jaillet, Feb. 14, 2018