Truckers Face Adjustment Period As New FMCSA Rules Enacted

Posted on July 10, 2013

At the beginning of this month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted new regulations that commercial truck drivers are required to follow.  These new rules were designed to improve safety among our nation’s highways.  But a new report shows that some truckers might be struggling to come to grips with the latest stipulations.

The new regulations place a cap on the the number of hours that a trucker can drive in a week.  Previously, truckers had to post an average week of no more than 82 driving hours.  However, that has now been cut down to 70.  Plus, an operator must pull over for a half hour every eight hours, and there’s a cap on the number of days in a week that they can pilot big rigs between 1 am and 5 am.

These measures were put in place to reduce instances of fatigue and lapsed attention that could compromise the safety of truckers and fellow travelers.  And the FMCSA is taking adherence seriously.  A fleet with drivers violating the laws could be fined $11,000, and the driver himself or herself may have to pay $2,750.

Interviews with some truckers show that, anecdotally at least, not everyone is thrilled with the new regulations.  Some worry that they won’t be able to find a place to safely pull over for their half hour break, while others are confused about how to keep in line with the 1 to 5 requirement.

Still, it’s imperative that regulations be followed by all drivers, as they can help dramatically improve safety once the pain of adoption passes.

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