As Georgia truck accident lawyers, we have spoken out against the rule allowing a truck driver to drive for 11 consecutive hours. The rule was passed by the Bush Administration, which proposed it a total of 3 times during its tenure in the White House. It was blocked twice in court after consumer safety advocates and truck safety groups challenged the rule, claiming that the government had failed to determine its impact on trucker health and motorist safety. But the Bush administration ultimately succeeded in reinstating the rule.
Now, the Obama Administration has agreed to review the 11-hour rule. The Associated Press is reporting that on Monday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration signed an agreement with safety and labor groups, promising to revise the rule. For now, the FMCSA is not saying how it will revise the rule, and what new limits will be placed on trucker hours, but as Georgia truck accident lawyers, we hope that any new rule will be closer to the ten-hour limit that was earlier in place. The agency has said that it will consider the situation, and come up with a new rule within the next 9 months.
For truck safety groups who have been campaigning against the rule, it is a hard fought victory. These groups include those who have lost the most from the rule – parents of victims of truck accidents involving fatigued truckers driving beyond their stipulated working hours.
The American Trucking Associations continues to insist that since the new rules extending consecutive driving hours from 10 to 11 came into effect, they have actually been responsible for reducing the number of fatal and serious accidents.
It’s easy to understand why the trucking industry would support a rule that increases the number of hours that a trucker can drive, and limits the number of rest hours per week. The additional hours make great financial sense for these companies, helping them flesh out their bottom-line.
As Georgia trucking accident attorneys, we hope that the new FMCSA rules, when they do come up, will restrict truck driving hours to ten, helping save truckers as well as motorists from accidents.