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The U.S. Department of Transportation has taken new action to address driver fatigue and to make sure that truck drivers get the rest they need to operate safely when on our public roadways.

The new rule issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reduces by 12 hours the maximum number of hours a truck driver can work within a week.  In addition, truck drivers cannot drive after working eight hours without first taking a break of at least 30 minutes.

The current 11-hour daily driving limit was retained, but, truck drivers who maximize their weekly work hours are required to take at least two nights’ rest when their 24-hour body clock demands sleep the most – from 1:00 am to 5: 00 am.

Big rigs can be deadly when a driver is tired and overworked.  Driver fatigue is the cause of many highway crashes.

This is a step in the right direction, but, the FMCSA must continue to review and research the work hours of truck drivers. Our public safety requires continued monitoring.