It looks like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants to make sure that any new Hours of Service rule for truckers includes public concerns. The agency has announced public listening sessions to gain public input about the issue.
Trucker working hours have been a subject of great debate since these were changed to 11 hours from the previous 10 years by the Bush administration in 2008. As Atlanta trucking accident attorneys, we have strongly opposed any move to increase the number of consecutive hours a trucker can operate his rig, because of the risk of driver fatigue. An additional hour can save the industry approximately $2 billion a year, but places the trucker and innocent motorists at high risk of an accident.
Last year, the Federal Carrier Motor Carrier Safety Administration promised that it would revise the trucker HOS rules, and come up with a new set of rules. The agency has now announced on its website, a series of 4 listening sessions that will allow the public to add their suggestions or comments to the decision-making process. The first three sessions will be held in Dallas, TX, Arlington, VA and El Segundo, CA. The fourth venue is expected to be announced soon. The agency has also drafted a list of questions that will be discussed during the sessions.
Trucker fatigue is an important issue that affects the safety of hundreds of thousands of truckers, and millions of innocent Americans. The trucking industry insists that the additional work hour actually reduces the risk of accidents. It’s this kind of skewed logic that the industry is well known for. These are the same people who insist that having larger and heavier tractor trailers on our highways will actually help save lives, although they don’t manage to convince Atlanta truck accident lawyers about how this will happen.