The Connecticut Citizens Transportation Lobby commends U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy for so strongly opposing the proposed Senate move to weaken new regulations regarding truck safety on our highways.
The regulations that went into effect in July 2013 limit the hours the drivers of large trucks and buses can work from 82 hours a week to 70 hours. The regulation also requires drivers have two nights of sleep before they start the next work week.
Four-thousand people are killed each year in large-truck crashes, with driver fatigue a significant factor in many of these accidents.
In 1995 and again in 1999, Congress mandated the U.S. Department of Transportation to study the problem of driver fatigue in truck crashes. In 2011, the department proposed the stricter rules that are in place today. Because of pressure from truck owners and business groups, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, recently introduced an amendment to weaken the current regulations.
Truck driving is a stressful, difficult occupation, and it is essential that there be regulations in place to limit the possible danger to all highway users, particularly the more vulnerable passenger-car driver.
We urge your readers to contact their legislators and register their opposition to the relaxation of safety regulations on our roads.
Jill Kelly, Carol Leighton
Connecticut Citizens Transportation Lobby