New Trucking Regulation Aims to Allow Drivers More Rest Time
When it comes to road accidents, nothing seems to compare to the damages and injuries that a truck accident can cause. With its size, speed, and load, those involved in a commercial truck accident can be left with serious injuries and even fatalities. Because of this, new federal laws have been passed in order to help prevent and lower the rates of road accidents.
According to the new law that was passed on the 1st of July 2013, the total number of hours truck drivers could render in a workweek will be reduced to 70 hours, lowered from the previous 82 hours. They are also required to have 34 hours of consecutive rest (that should include two nights between 1 and 5 AM), and have 30-mintues breaks every 8 hours of driving.
Despite the government’s goal of preventing driver fatigue and to lower truck accidents, many truck drivers and trucking companies have expressed concern and disdain regarding the new laws. Many believe the changes will make them lose productivity. Truckers also think it may mess up or alter their sleep pattern. With limited time on the road and the mandatory breaks, truckers believe they will have a harder time to earn money, eventually straining the trucking industry.
Nothing will be more affected by this than the freight trucking factoring industry, where they will be left with fewer trucks on the road. And because a lot of distribution centers have imposed stricter rules on when they take shipments, this could mean increased cost of business. The lowered number of workweeks could mean shipping delays, additional costs for shipping to the consumers, and unexpected downtime.
Even though they have expressed their discontent, many truckers and truck companies have decided to give the new system a try and are given a year to adjust to the new laws, as permitted by the Feds. Failing to follow the new laws could put trucking companies in danger of paying up fines which could reach $11,000. Drivers themselves can also be fined if they fail to comply with the new laws.