August 21, 2005

Truckers Legal Hours Increased

The Bush Administration has decided to extend legal trucker hours. There are two relevant changes:

For 60 years, truckers could drive for 10 consecutive hours. On Jan. 1, 2004, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration changed the rule to allow them another hour behind the wheel.

A federal court, however, threw out the changes.

On Friday, the truck-safety agency announced that a revision to the rule would still allow the big rigs to roll for 11 hours, three hours more than safety advocates say they should.


The Bush administration also announced a new set of rules for truck drivers who travel less than 150 miles in a day and don’t need a commercial driver’s license.

Those drivers, who typically work for retailers and small package-delivery companies, would be partially exempt from the 14-hour workday. For two days a week, they could work 16-hour days, including breaks.

Wal-Mart and other retailers have lobbied Congress to extend the workday for truckers to 16 hours, something labor unions and safety advocates say would make roadways more dangerous for all drivers.

Some members of Congress had a similar proposal, but the legislation was withdrawn in March when safety advocates and unions representing truckers opposed it.

As noted before, truckers themselves have a mixed opinion on the matter.

I'm not sure how they came to this figure, or if they did a cost-benefits analysis:

She said the rule, which will take effect Oct. 1, will cost long-haul trucking companies $10 million and save short-haul companies $280 million.
How much will Wal-Mart profit? How much will consumers save?

Posted by Kevin on August, 21 2005 at 09:54 AM