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Trucking safety regulations may be reversed

Kentucky drivers who are concerned about roadway safety may want to know that federal safety rules intended to prevent commercial truckers from driving while drowsy were blocked in early December by Republican lawmakers. The lawmakers added a provision to a government spending bill that suspended regulations requiring truckers to have to nights off to rest after a 75-hour work week. The American Trucking Association has stated that in January 2017, it will also try to have state laws requiring more rest breaks than those required by federal rule blocked as well. The organization asserts that there should be a single national rule regarding work hours for interstate truckers.

The setback has drawn the concern of safety advocates who believe that it may indicate the beginning of the reversal of transportation safety regulations after the Trump administration takes over the White House. Safety advocates state that some parts of the trucking industry, including shippers, may push to have the weight limits on trucks increased to over 90,000 pounds as well as increase the lengths of single trailers in double-trailer combinations to 33 feet.

Truckers are currently required to have a 35-hour break at the end of a work week. However, the trucking industry protested against the requirement that there should be two periods from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. included in the 35 hours. Another regulation that was suspended prevented truckers from resuming driving in the same week they worked 75 hours and had a 35-hour break.

The reaction times of a fatigued truck driver may be impaired and can result in a crash. Occupants of another vehicle who have been injured as a result may want to have the help of a lawyer in seeking compensation for their medical bills and other losses that they have sustained.

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