Truck Driver Hours Limited

Safety is the main reason for changes to the number of hours truckers can log behind the wheel.

"But I think especially the I85 corridor there is a lot of accidents I don't know with the sleeping or not having their eyes on the road," said truck driver Stephen Lewis.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration changed the number of 34 hour restarts or time off drivers can take in a seven day period.

Previously if they truckers logged 70 hours, they could take a restart and begin working another 70 hours at any time.

Under the new rules, only one restart is allowed every seven days, limiting how many hours truckers can drive.

"I don't like that you can only do the restart after 7 days... as far as the hours are concerned it pus a hamper a lot of things for the most part i think you need the rest." said Lewis.

According to the FMCSA, more than 3,600 traffic deaths in 2010 were large truck fatalities.

"Chronic fatigue can be a major component of severe crashes and manly in this regulation change hopefully it will cut some of the chronic fatigue among drivers," said Sergeant Ira J. Whitehead from Alabama Dept. of Public Safety.

There are mixed feelings about the change.

"Overall most people think it will be good for safety to help relieve crashes and help save lives," said Sergeant Whitehead.

Federal officials say the new regulations could save 19 lives a year.

After the new regulations take affect on July 1st, analysts say there will be an additional 100,000 truck drivers needed.


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