President Barack Obama’s administration scaled back a proposal to limit truckers’ daily driving hours, maintaining an 11-hour limit.
The rule reduces a driver’s maximum work week by 12 hours to 70 hours, the U.S. Transportation Department said in an e- mailed statement today.
“Trucking is a difficult job, and a big rig can be deadly when a driver is tired and overworked,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in the statement. “This final rule will help prevent fatigue-related truck crashes and save lives. Truck drivers deserve a work environment that allows them to perform their jobs safely.”
House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, had asked the president to withdraw the regulation, saying that the industry already has reduced driver fatalities and couldn’t afford additional personnel. The proposed truck-driver fatigue rule was one of seven regulations that the Obama administration said would cost companies at least $1 billion.
Regulators weighed industry costs against billions of dollars in health-care savings and reduced accidents in a profession that has more on-the-job deaths than any other in the U.S.
The revision of driving-time regulations that originated in the 1930s pauses a debate that dates back to the creation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to monitor truck safety in 1999.
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