More Drowsy, Overworked Truck Drivers

Trucking interests are pushing a rider that would increase the maximum allowable work limits for truck drivers to over 82 hours per week.
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1

I spent years driving across this nation.

And frankly, I would much prefer to be on the road with a truck driver having driven 80 hours in a week than I would with the general population.

I am not excusing truck drivers who fail to recognize when they are tired, but neither am I excusing other drivers from the mindless and aggressive natures when they get behind the wheel.

5 2017-05-09 08:41:57 - TheOwl
2

Senator Collins ought to know better. Her state, where I reside with my family, is all too familiar with driving toe-to-toe with over the road truckers, as 95 slices our state in half going N/S and is the only way for many of us to 'get there from here', as they say in Maine. These truckers also branch out to the 2-lane, secondary highways that run E/W because of the ruralness of this state. Couple fatigue with often inclement driving conditions in our long winter season, and it's a disaster waiting to happen. I hopped on I-95 at noon today to take a student to a medical appt. and was boxed in by 2 18-wheelers amid snow and slush and slippery roads, reducing my visibility to near zero. Imagine if this trucker was dozing. Susan, what ARE you thinking??

9 2017-02-25 13:37:44 - RMB
3

Regulate? That is close to socialism. The sky will fall if Texans hear this.
I work near a major highway. If Republicans could hear the emergency trucks going by every night and include that in their math.
They would probably outsource it.
Some of us are not waiting for the idiot who approaches a fire and the Owner says, "I'm on fire put me out".
Given the situation 'drop and roll' doesn't help.

0 2016-08-29 01:05:07 - G.P.
4

It'a all about squeezing more out of the few drivers they have.
There is a major shortage of long-haul ruck drivers right now. It's a demographic and of course, a pay problem. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/02/usa-trucks-driver-shortage-idU... Pay the drivers more and the squeeze will end. Not likely to happen though..

1 2016-08-27 13:39:12 - DaveG
5

I'm not surprised. Bought and paid for in the halls of Congress.

Another generation of this and we'll all be serfs.

24 2016-08-07 05:02:57 - Tim Berry
6

Senator Susan Collins is a nice person, and once passed as a moderate in Congress, but this sort of activity is extremism of the worst kind. Why subvert rules that are scientifically-derived and are the minimum to protect the workers' and public's safety? I guess it's so trucking firms can reduce their workforce by 15 %. Sounds like a great deal for America!

21 2016-07-30 00:27:48 - bruce
7

No offense,but how nice can she be if she's behind this turkey? This is the kind of blatantly corrupt move that ensures the cynicism of the population. Sorry but its impossible to trust the machine politicians of either party or gender. To think of them as truly serving anything but the status quo is a dangerous mistake. They certainly don't serve anything as quaint as "the people", "the nation" or " their constituents". The system has been designed to reinforce its own corruption and is doing the job so well that corruption has become legally accepted. The Supreme Court gets very annoyed when you try and fight against it. How else do you think all those campaigns on both sides get paid for? This is an inevitable result of the doctrine of money equals speech and corporations are people.

0 2016-07-06 07:18:38 - T. Libby
8

Another stupid idea from another greedy politico.
She should be ashamed. but shame is not her game.

4 2016-06-17 22:31:54 - Robert Guenveur
9

Unfortunately it's all but impossible to sue a legislator for malpractice. Fun idea though.

0 2016-05-31 18:15:13 - T. Libby
10

There is no doubt in my mind, based upon data and personal experience, that more than 70 hours per week of driving is dangerous. Period. Especially with piggy back rigs.

20 2016-04-26 14:08:13 - MHW
11

Ah, who cares, we got plenty of Americans. What if a few more get killed, as long as profits are made? Where's our pioneer spirit?

21 2016-04-05 18:37:55 - David Devonis
12

Profit over life.
The republican mantra.
Except for the zygotes.

16 2016-04-01 16:18:40 - craig geary
13

On a somewhat related note, I wish the Times or some other major news organization would do a deep dive into why truck drivers still are paid by the mile rather than on salary.

With telemetrics, GPS, instant communication with loading docks, weather info at everyone's fingertips, surely there are better ways to weed out inefficient or sandbagging drivers who lollygag on the clock. Pay per mile provides an incentive to focus on work but also far too great an incentive to push safety limits. We wouldn't need all of these convoluted "hours of service" rules etc. if drivers weren't punished for every minute they don't spend behind the wheel, pedal to the metal.

There really need to be hearings in which trucking company operators are asked to testify under oath about their compensation practices vis a vis safety.

12 2016-03-13 06:14:43 - Bohemienne
14

As I see it, these are some of the first jobs to be eliminated by automation..taxi drivers, bus drivers as well. Increasing the hours seems a bit short sighted even from the industry perspective; more accidents means more lawsuits and more money wasted. Perhaps more accidents will lead to increase public concern; a weakening of many of these companies to allow a startup to rise that uses autonomous trucks in replacement of drivers and running about a specific profit plan that would allow them to Amazon-or Google-ized the heck out of their competitors.

The only thing slowly down such a startup is regulations, perhaps Susan Collins would be interested in helping curve such regulations to allow for the demise of the old way in the trucking world? Jobs loss, whatever...it really is only the beginning (working with a team right now as we try to figure out ways to completely automate nurse care.)

1 2016-03-05 04:13:22 - DavidLibraryFan
15

Well, sure. They need more cannon fodder.

1 2016-03-02 01:55:15 - pointpeninsula
16

How about we ask Tracy Morgan for his thoughts on the subject?

0 2015-12-01 03:44:34 - Eric
17

Increasing the number of drowsey truckers on the highways is a serious threat to public safety. The demand for trucked goods has stressed oiur existing trucking capacity. To allow the economy grow and meet the needs of a growing population, we already know that the trucked goods will double my mid-century. Clearly, we need a better solution.

Drs. James Powell and Gordon Danby, the inventors of superconducting Maglev, have proposed increasing the capacity of the Interstate Highway System with 300 mph Maglev guideways constructed on the rights-of-ways of the Interstates and used it for carrying trucks in roll-on, roll-off Maglev vehicles (see www.magneticglide.com) as well as passengers. This system will save lives, save the cost of trucking for the truckers and the consumer and the good news, the system can be built with private funding and it can be competed in 20 years. To get started the truck carrying system and vehicles must be tested by the government. If Congress is smart they will attach a rider to the omnibus spending bill to fund a SC Maglev Test Facility so that this system can compete for meeting the Nation's furture needs.

The National Maglev Network built along the Interstates was 1st announced by the late Senator Pat Moynihan but we have learned that the idea of using the rights-of-ways of the Interstates was proposeded by the then new Senator Harry Reid of NV, the outgoing Senate Majority Leader, who can bring this unique transport system to the country.

2 2015-11-10 07:36:18 - James Jordan
18

I really like this idea. Along with genuine coast-to-coast passenger lines and moving public transport into suburban areas,this could be part of a solution. Taking interstate trucking off of the interstate would immeasurably improve both safety and the condition of the roads themselves.

0 2015-10-28 05:49:39 - T. Libby
19

Good point bruce, another jobs bill from the Reactionary Party. Only thing is, it's a jobs killer not a job creator.

9 2015-10-08 02:01:18 - Tim Berry
20

Ms. Collins needs to add a mathematician to her staff. There are 168 hours in a week. If her proposal were changed to require only a one hour nap each morning and only a one hour rest break each afternoon (i.e., a total of 14 hours per week), then the drivers could work 154 hours per week. This would nearly double the efficiency of her proposed 82+ hours per week and ensure that the many necessities of our lives (Hello Kitty dolls, Legos, Halloween costumes, Christmas oddments, et.al.) would arrive in a timely fashion at all our magical bazaars.

4 2015-09-20 22:10:08 - Knick

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