I thought the new Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations made sense, and that there wouldn’t be much controversy about the new regulations. After all, the new regulation just put back into place the old rule. The old rule required drivers of 80,000 pound tractor trailers to stop after driving 10 hours. The law was changed under President Bush to allow truckers to drive 11 hours, an extra hour over the prior regulations. So the proposed regulations just put things back the way they were. No harm, no foul, the government gets a do over because they messed up when they extended the HOS to 11 hours. Not a controversial move I thought when I first read it. WOW was I wrong! The trucking companies hate this proposal.
But why? Studies, such as the Penn State study (“On the Relationship of Crash Risk and Driver Hours of Service”) presented by Dr. Paul Jovanisat the 2005 International Truck & Bus Safety Security Symposium in Alexandria, Va. have shown that " the crash risk is statistically similar for the first six hours of driving and then increases in significant steps thereafter. The 11th hour has a crash risk more than three times the first hour." The 11th hour of driving is therefore 300 percent more dangerous than the first hour of driving. Of course the longer a truck is in motion the more money the trucking company makes. Should those profits really come at our, the public’s, expense?
Don Schneider was able to make the Forbes 400 list as a Billionaire as the owner of Schneider trucking. Perhaps an industry that creates BILLIONAIRES can think about public safety… at least this once? Most drivers would also appreciate being limited to 10 hours of driving. They know that 11 hours is to long to be on the road. There is a reason they call trucks rolling sweatshops.
Here is hoping that the industry outcry doesn’t overcome common sense on this. The 10 hour rule is far safer and simply puts the industry back where they were before the Bush expansion. It should be the law.