With the Republicans controlling both legislative branches as well as the executive branch, trucking industry groups are targeting safety regulations, lobbying Congressional members to roll them back. In Dec. 2016, the groups were successful when Congress blocked new regulations that would have required truck drivers to get more sleep. The groups have promised to continue their efforts in order to get additional regulations rolled back, and safety groups are worried. Semi truck accident attorneys in Tennessee understand the importance of safety regulations for trucking companies and drivers because they help to reduce the risk of accidents and resulting injuries.
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New Rules That Were Blocked
In Dec. 2016, new rules from the Obama administration that were aimed at making certain truck drivers got additional sleep were attached to a bill and blocked in Congress. Truck drivers are required to take 34-hour breaks in between their workweeks. The rules would have required that the truck drivers had to use part of their break time between 1 am and 5 am, meaning that they could not end their breaks and resume driving between those hours. Research by AAA shows that people who get less than five hours of sleep in a night have driving impairments that are equal to people who are driving drunk. If truck drivers do not get adequate sleep, they are likelier to cause truck accidents and to potentially seriously injure or kill others.
Other Rules That Are In the Trucking Industry’s Sights
The American Trucking Association was emboldened by its win in December, and it vowed to return in January. The organization’s new lobbying efforts are aimed at a couple of additional safety regulations. It wants to increase the weight limits beyond the current limit of 90,000 pounds. The group is also lobbying to increase the trailer length on two-trailer combinations from 28 feet to 33 feet.
The Trump administration has indicated that the President intends to focus on rolling back regulations. While there are no specific indications that Trump will be focusing on the transportation industry, the Republican block of the safety regulation in December and the American Trucking Association’s promise to return for additional lobbying has safety experts worried. Some have expressed that it may be the start of a campaign to rollback numerous trucking industry safety regulations, resulting in additional truck accidents, injuries, and deaths. Semi truck accident attorneys are watching what happens with the regulations and are hoping that they are not rolled back.