Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Teamsters, senators oppose dangerous increase in number of hours truckers may drive

Let's keep everybody safe on the highways, please.
As soon as this afternoon the Senate may approve a dangerous increase in the number of hours truckers may drive -- to 82 hours a week.

Teamsters strongly oppose letting more fatigued drivers on the highways and are working hard to protect the existing safety rules. We were joined to day by 10 U.S. senators who filed an amendment today that would prevent changes in the hours truck drivers can spend behind the wheel.

The current rules simply ensure that drivers are not forced to work more than 80 hours per week and have a chance to get two nights’ sleep during their limited time off.

(You can help, by the way, by contacting your senators and urging them to keep the current hours-of-service rules. Just click here.)

Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, two of the amendment sponsors, represent New Jersey, the state where comedian Tracy Morgan was critically injured. According to the Newark Star-Ledger,
Booker is also asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to review truck weight limits, in the wake of the crash a week ago that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed a companion after a Wal-Mark truck struck and flipped the limo van they were riding in on the New Jersey Turnpike. Police say the Georgia truck driver, who has been charged with vehicular homicide and four counts of assault by auto, had not slept for 24 hours.
Here's what Booker said:
Truck accidents are on the rise and driver fatigue is a leading cause. Truck drivers are working extremely long days to deliver the goods we depend on, but it should never be at the cost of their safety and that of other drivers. 
(So remember to contact your senators and urge them to support Booker's amendment. Click here.)

Here's what Teamsters say:

Joe Saroli wrote on the Teamsters Facebook page:
... not only do we NOT want our members to share the road with fatigued drivers, we don't want fatigued drivers endangering the lives ALL Americans who drive the roads and highways.
Jean Pennington:
Truck drivers have families to that love them. 80 hours a week is insane. Corporate greed causes separation, and heart ache of family's. This must stop. We don't need zombie drivers on the roads.
Rjj Baptiste
This is insane. Expecting a person to be being a wheel for 82 hours! Let your voice be heard.
Michael Johnson
82 hours driving is insane corporate greed at work.without a thought to men at work.
Here's a list of the amendment sponsors:
U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) was joined by Senate colleagues John D. Rockefeller (D-W.VA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).