By: Allan M. Siegel
The House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee recently voted
to send a transportation to the House that includes provisions to significantly
reform federal trucking regulations. The new bill would roll back certain
rules and block other measures intended to make trucks and roadways safer.
Proposed changes include:
Restoring Hours of Service rules to those in effect in 2011. Under these
rules, 34-hour off duty periods would not be required to include the two
periods between 1 am to 5 am. Truck drivers would also not be limited
to using the 34-hour restart only once per week. The 30-minute break requirement
will remain in effect.
- Stopping the development of new safety fitness rules that were intended
to include new rating methodology. These rules were meant to determine
a commercial carrier’s overall safety rating each month, and provide
the basis of whether a carrier would be deemed unfit, and therefore required
to improve operations or stop operating.
- Preventing states from enforcing state laws regarding truck driver breaks.
In lieu of state-passed mandatory break laws, truckers would be required
to comply with federal regulations (HOS rules).
- Trucking regulations are in place to ensure drivers and trucking companies
take reasonable steps to operate as safely as possible. Rolling back regulations,
preventing the development of new rules, and limiting the power of states
to enforce state-enacted break rules is an unfortunate step in the wrong
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our personal injury
lawyers have represented many
truck accident victims across DC, Maryland, and Virginia. In many cases, our clients
were harmed because truckers or trucking companies were negligent or otherwise
violated federal trucking laws.
We know these regulations are important because we have seen the damage
and injuries that can result when they are not followed. Rolling back
Hours of Service rules, for example, would allow truckers to drive as
much as 73 hours per week – a recipe for disaster that would create
tired drivers and increase the risk of accidents.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a crash with a commercial
truck, our attorneys are available to investigate the cause, determine
whether violations were made, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to speak with a Washington, DC truck accident lawyer during a FREE