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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One has to ask "How can anyone, in any way, shape, or form, categorize this proposal as anything other then depraved?" Let's put this another way.....if this provision survives, every additional death caused by an overworked and sleep deprived truck-driver, who has crossed the 70 hour threshold, will be due indirectly to the misguided capitulation of the good Senator from Maine to the amoral individuals who need more money as a reason for their existence on this earth.

Senator Collins, look in the you like what you see?

28 2015-09-11 07:12:15 - Mark

I witnessed a truck accident near Lebanon, MO on I-44, that was probably due to the trucker falling asleep at the wheel. He veered into the median and rolled the truck over. It caught on fire. We all pulled over and several brave men ran to the truck and got him out before the fire got worse.

The trucker wasn't injured that badly, but some people were injured seriously later from the chain reaction crash caused by the traffic jam on the interstate.

Working people need to be protected from exploitation that hurts them and hurts the rest of us.

9 2015-09-06 23:32:31 - h

When was the last time you worked over 80 hours in a week. I know what it's like, I've done it a lot. It is beyond exhaustion, but it paid the rent.

Yes, truck drivers and other professional drivers are the safest on the road, and that is a good thing. But if they are at the whim of an employer expected to extend that special skill beyond the body's endurance thresholds, that is not a good thing either for other drivers or for the trucker himself.

It's a special state of being, that place beyond exhaustion, and trusting that it will not test endurance beyond its limits is a lousy gamble. I am forced to drive a lot, and if you think about the long drives you have made, you will remember the variety of phenomena that attend this special form of immobilization in activity. 70 hours is plenty, over 80 is too many. If it were at the choice of the drive, that might excuse it, but all too often it is just expedient for some corporate profiteer to take advantage.

Cheap is dear.

0 2015-07-14 18:35:03 - Susan Anderson

Welcome back to the 19th century, folks. When the GOP talks about being 'business friendly" and go on about "moral values", they are not going back to the 1950's, they look back at the 19th century as their inspiration, when anything and everything was about profits,mostly going to the most wealthiest, and where everyone else was an expendable cog in the machine. Back then, as now, the religious for the most part ignored the havoc such policies had on people, the bad working conditions, dangerous products and so forth, and rather harped on 'the moral decay' of society as the main problem. If thousands of workers died or were maimed in factories, well, God must have wanted that, the same way that the religious conservatives have totally stayed silent as the GOP of today pretty much says the same thing, especially the demonization of the poor.

If one wants to see the mindset, all you have to do is see the GOP basically talking with admiration about China, how they are doing well because they 'support business', which means basically workers with little or no rights, no benefits, no safety rules, lax pollution rules, and so forth.....

12 2015-07-09 23:40:47 - lrichins

They'll do anything and everything to squeeze working people to make more profit, even at the cost of public safety.

16 2015-06-17 03:51:00 - Joe

This proposal is incomprehensible, except if trucking company profit is the only consideration. Effective in May of 2014, in order to increase driver safety and the well-being of the public, all healthcare providers who perform Commercial Driving License physical examinations are required to be certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and be listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. Obtaining certification involved taking and passing an (expensive) extensive medical requirement course and taking an (expensive) exam, each of which necessitated an (expensive) $400 air trip to Anchorage. CDL applicants are required to pre-register for their physical exam with a certified examiner--ostensibly to stop "doc shopping", and results are posted on the Federal Registry. Although somewhat onerous to all involved, this new system makes sense. The same cannot be said for Sen. Collin's proposal, which only serves to increase the chances of catastrophe.

0 2015-06-16 13:54:01 - Anne Dailey, PA-C

I've had many near accidents with truckers who were driving tired, or under the influence. Such a proposal is plain stupid. Half the lethal accidents in this country involved giant trucks.

8 2015-06-02 04:50:26 - ejzim
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics. Of the 4,000 deaths, how many are the truck driver? Driving trucks, at its best, is a dangerous occupation. Whether 70 hours is right or 80 or 82, none of us know, and the regulations from the USDOT are subject to negotiations between stakeholders. Then there is litigation that ensues. We never leave it solely to science.

Truck drivers are mile-for mile the safest on the road. All of us have a story to tell about "that truck driver who . . .", but we also have countless more about the car driver who did things much worse. We simply remember the truck driver because the vehicle is large and menacing.

Get the politics out of the regulatory process. Do a real scientific study and set the hours of service rules once and for all. All of the changes over the past 20 years have simply caused confusion and cost everyone money.
0 2015-06-02 03:42:15 - RH

Couldn't agree more about the aggressive behavior of urban car drivers. Having driven professionally myself,I've seen how absolutely idiotic people act just to gain a car length or cut in front of a moving rig. They have no respect for the danger they put others in,never mind their own lives. But that just makes the need to defeat this bill even greater. If we know how stupid the average driver acts around big rigs,we need even better support(more rest,better conditions,better pay) for drivers to ensure their safety and our own.

1 2015-05-05 22:53:19 - T. Libby

Once more, regular people get trucked by politicians lining the pocketbooks of the already-rich.

7 2015-05-03 00:48:23 - Justin

Please contact the Senator's office and tell her staff how you feel about this issue. Ask your family and friends in Maine to do the same.

Here in Massachusetts, I often encounter the same problems with truckers that you do in Maine.

0 2015-04-19 20:43:23 - Pam Shira Fleetman

No doubt! Another effective proposal from the great "job creators."

2 2015-04-04 01:37:44 - ejzim

More and better trains is the way to go. The solution is right under our noses.

4 2015-03-02 03:35:59 - ejzim

What liability does Senator Susan Collins have when sleeping truck drivers convert our nation's highways into live performances of Death Race 2015? Can we sue Senator Collins for wrongful deaths, property damages, or medical expenses due to her sponsoring this law?

16 2015-02-19 04:14:15 - Bill

Yes, I think that being paid by the mile is the reason so many truckers speed like crazy (way above the speed limit) on the highways. It's very frightening when I'm driving in the slow lane, and a trucker tailgates me. This happens a lot. Truckers also tailgate cars in the medium-speed lane because they're not allowed to drive in the fast lane.

One of the best driving tips I was ever given is, when on the highway, keep as far away from trucks as possible.

0 2015-02-18 14:33:47 - Pam Shira Fleetman

Terrorists are not responsible for killing and injuring as many Americans as commercial drives experiencing fatigue. Look at the resources we expend to a problem that comparably doesn't exist to this ludicrous rider by Republican Senator Collins. It's so boneheaded you really have to ask yourself what does she get in returned for the additional lost and dislocated lives ? I sure hope she enjoys it.

13 2015-01-17 08:11:43 - Peter S
Probably can't see a reflection... :-(
2 2015-01-10 12:42:25 - ejzim

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