As readers may know, truck safety is a topic that is in the news quite
a lot, especially the issue of truck driver fatigue. This is good, because
trucking safety is something that concerns everybody, and it is in all
of our interests that drivers and companies bound by federal truck safety
regulations follow these rules.
One of the important federal rules aimed at preventing truck driver fatigue
prevents commercial motor vehicle drivers from operating for more than
14 hours without taking rest. The rule, known as the 14-hour limit, prevents
truckers from driving beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on
duty after taking 10 consecutive hours off duty. Under the rule, off-duty
time does not extend the 14-hour period.
The National Star Route Mail Contractors Association—the organization
which represents private trucking companies contracting with the United
States Postal Service for mail delivery—has apparentlyrequested an exemption from the 14-hour rule. If the exemption is granted, private mail carriers
would not have to abide by the rule, and this reportedly has United States
Postal Service drivers upset.
Part of the reason USPS drivers have objected to the exemption is that
they compete with private sector drivers for mail delivery, and if private
sector drivers are allowed to take longer work days, they will obviously
garner more business. Another reason for objecting, though, is the obvious
safety risks of extending drivers’ work days.
In our next post, we’ll continue speaking about this topic, particularly
the risks of truck driver fatigue and what accident victims should do
when they are
involved in an accident with a fatigued commercial motor vehicle driver.