New hours of service requirements for truck drivers took effect July 1, 2013
New hours of service rules for truck drivers took effect July 1, 2013. The new rules are designed to improve safety by limiting the number of hours truck drivers can spend behind the wheel to reduce the chance of driver fatigue.
“Safety is our highest priority. These rules make common sense, data-driven changes to reduce truck driver fatigue and improve safety for every traveler on our highways and roads.”
– U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood
The Department of Transportation has provided this summary of the new hours-of-service rules:
In a press release announcing the rules change, the Department of Transportation said the new rules will prevent more than 1,400 crashes and 560 injures each year. In addition, the rules will save more than a quarter-billion dollars by reducing crashes and nearly half-a-billion dollars in savings from improved driver health.
Despite the savings in both lives and money, at least one trucking industry spokesperson has said the new rules go too far and provide too little flexibility for drivers. Safety advocates complained the hours-of-service rules didn’t go far enough. Joan Claybrook – a former NHTSA head – testified that white the rule took steps to reducing driver fatigue, the final rule “overall falls short of making the necessary improvements for safety that are needed to reduce the annual toll of truck-involved crash deaths and injuries….”, she said.
- Trucking industry reps blast upcoming hours-of-service changes at House hearing [Jill Dunn at Commercial Carrier Journal]
- DOT Hours-of-Service Press Release [Department of Transportation]
- Hours-of-Service Questions and Answers [Department of Transportation]
- Interstate Truck Driver’s Guide to Hours of Service [Department of Transportation]
© Copyright 2013 Brett A. Emison
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Brett Emison is currently a partner at Langdon & Emison, a firm dedicated to helping injured victims across the country from their primary office near Kansas City. Mainly focusing on catastrophic injury and death cases as well as complex mass tort and dangerous drug cases, Mr. Emison often deals with automotive defects, automobile crashes, railroad crossing accidents (train accidents), trucking accidents, dangerous and defective drugs, defective medical devices.