Beginning July 1, the Obama administration’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) wants truckers limited to driving 70 hours a week with mandatory “restart” periods–which would “include the predawn hours of two consecutive days” for rest.
Currently, commercial drivers are allowed to drive 82 hours a week.
According to The Hill, Steve Williams of the American Trucking Associations says the new regulations “haven’t been fully vetted” and “could cost the industry up to $1.4 billion per year in lost productivity.”
This is because most truckers “are paid by the mile rather than by the hour.” Therefore, forcing them to sit during early dawn hours takes them off the road when traffic is lightest and miles can be covered most easily. As longtime driver Edward Stocklin put it: “If the wheels aren’t turning, you aren’t earning.”
Williams is asking lawmakers to intervene before the new regulations hit on July 1.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) says the proposed regulations seem to be drawn from “incomplete information.” He added: “I just feel like we’re throwing this rule out there.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.