New Legislation Set To Cut Hours In Trucker Work Week

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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Most people who work 80 hours a week would be elated to hear that they only need to work 70 hours a week now.

Most people aren’t truck drivers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is implementing a new policy that will limit the amount of hours a truck driver can put in during a work week. The previous maximum number allowed was 82. After the new policy takes hold, that number will drop to 70. But while the government sees increased safety in the policy, truck drivers only see lost opportunity.

“It’s hard,” truck driver Richard Allen told the Wall Street Journal. “They have no clue what they’re doing.”

Allen and his wife Sandra say they will be severely limited by the new regulations. The couple currently puts in big hours behind the wheel by rotating driving shifts.

“Look at the stats, brother. We've been doing better and better and better and better out here," Allen said. "I don't need these people telling me how to stay alive."

Allen says he and his wife expect to lose about $36,000 from their $300,000 annual revenues due to the new law.

Government officials say the saved lives that will result from the policy will be worth it. 3,887 people were killed in 2012 from car crashes involving large trucks. Improved safety technology in cars has dropped that number over the past decade, but Anne Ferrero of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says technology alone is not enough.

“My mission is to save lives,” Ferrero says.

America’s largest truckers union, The Teamsters, supports the new law. Government officials estimate the changes will prevent about 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries a year while saving 19 lives annually. 

Source: Wall Street Journal