A range of safety groups are calling for judicial review of federal rules for truck drivers' hours of service. According to a lawsuit filed by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Public Citizen, the Truck Safety Coalition and two truck drivers, the new rule doesn't protect the public from tired truckers. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently ruled drivers could only work 70 hours within a seven-day period, down from a previous limit of 82. Truckers must also take a break of at least 30 minutes after an eight-hour shift.
That's a step in the right direction, but drivers are still allowed to travel up to 11 hours in one day. Those who reach their hourly limit in a week may then restart the clock by taking a 34-hour break, but that may only be done once within a seven-day period.
The concerned parties want a judicial review of the rule to eliminate the 34-hour restart provision and cut consecutive drive hours to 10, saying that truck crash fatalities increased by nine percent in 2010.