With some in the trucking industry pushing for changes to the time truck drivers are legally permitted to spend behind the wheel, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently announced propose changes to address this desire.
The proposed changes include when a half-hour break is required, changing it to after eight hours of uninterrupted driving time, as opposed to on-duty time. They also cover allowance for pausing the on-duty clock, and extending the possible workday to sixteen hours, from fourteen, in the case of adverse conditions.
Those on the side of the proposed changes argue they will provide truck drivers with greater flexibility in managing their trips, allowing them to take breaks to avoid rush hour traffic, for example. However, others criticize the proposal as reducing safety for drivers.
With the debate ongoing as to whether the changes should be implemented, it still remains to be seen as to whether they will come into effect. There is still the public comment period, while others have suggested, even if the rule changes do go into effect, they could still be challenged in court.
These possible changes serve as a reminder of the ongoing challenges in keeping up with new laws, and how they impact companies and workers. Those operating in the trucking and shipping industry need to a have an experienced employment and transportation lawyer on their side to stay informed on the continuing changes.