If you drive trucks for a living, you may be feeling overworked lately. Keeping the nation supplied is a tough way to make a living and a potentially dangerous one. You need adequate sleep and rest if you are to do your job safely.
Unfortunately, it appears the government does not agree. The new legislation, which comes into force in September, aims to reduce your right to sleep and rest. It will allow the trucking companies you work for to push you harder.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is meant to look out for your safety. Instead, their ruling exposes you to more danger, much to the dismay of road safety advocates and the Teamsters union, who have joined forces to petition the FMCSA to think again.
There are four elements to the new ruling:
- Your employer can force you to drive an extra two hours in adverse weather.
- Your employer can insist you drive 14 hours instead of the previous 12.
- Your short-haul limit is now 150 miles instead of 100.
- Your boss can make you work during your half-hour breaks, as long as you are not driving.
- Your company can make you split your 10 hours off duty period into two parts.
Being in charge of a large truck comes with a big responsibility. A driving error on your part, due to fatigue, could kill others on the road. It could also kill you, leaving your family to suffer for the rest of their lives. While they can fight for compensation if you have a trucking accident while working, they can never replace you.