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Relaxing trucker drive-time rules a threat to public safety

Commercial trucks often substantially outweigh smaller, non-commercial vehicles, and because they are so heavy and massive, they pose more of a threat to Wisconsin motorists than the average car or truck. At Lein Law Offices, we understand that trucker drive-time rules exist to protect motorists from truckers who may operate their tractor-trailers while drowsy or fatigued, and we also recognize that relaxing the current rules dictating truck driver drive times and rest breaks could significantly hinder highway safety.

According to the L.A. Times, many truckers and business owners have long argued for more flexibility when it comes to the hours-of-service rules that currently dictate how often they must stop and rest. Now, the current presidential administration is considering relaxing the rules regarding rest breaks and service hours, even though doing so could be highly detrimental to public safety.

Currently, long-haul truck drivers can drive for 11 hours out of every 14 hours they are on duty, and those who plan to drive more than 8 hours consecutively need to go off duty for at least 30 minutes before hitting that 8-hour timeline. If the proposed changes take effect, long-haul truckers would be able to take that break while on duty, as long as they are not actively driving.

Another proposed change, meanwhile, would let semi-truck drivers essentially “pause” that 14-hour stint to take an off-duty brink, as long as they still rest for 10 consecutive hours while off duty once they finish their shifts. While truckers attest that the proposed changes would make their lives easier and give them a better work-life balance, safety advocates fear changing the rules would lead to an increase in commercial truck-involved fatalities, which are already rising across the nation. You can find more about truck wrecks on our webpage.

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