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Rules for trucker safety may change

As Louisiana residents may know, truckers work long hours with mandatory rest periods. According to reports, the trucking industry is taking aim at safety standards instituted to protect truckers and other motorists.

Such changes, according to a former representative of the National Transportation Safety Board, spell a departure from the more stringent safety rules that are currently in place. Congress recently added a rider to a necessary spending bill that would remove the provision that truckers take off two nights within the break period of 35 hours they must take each week. This means that, although the 35-hour period remains in place, it will no longer include the stipulation that it include two rest periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Safety advocates argue that rest during those particular hours is often necessary for an individual to be refreshed.

In addition, it is anticipated that other safety regulations, such as the weight and length of tandem trailers, might be changed. The industry has made it known that a weight limit of 90,000 pounds might be sought along with an increased length of trailers when they are used in tandem.

Truckers are divided on the new and possibly future changes. One trucker who was interviewed said that it is sometimes difficult to find a place to rest and that he was pleased with the safety regulations that were in place. Alternately, another trucker voiced the opinion that it was not appropriate to pass legislation telling him when to rest.

Accidents caused by truck driver fatigue may cause serious injuries with a concomitant financial loss. An attorney may assist a victim by reviewing the driver's logs and accident reports to determine negligence. The lawyer could then file a lawsuit to recover damages.

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