Regulations Cause Problems For Truck Drivers

Regulations Cause Problems For Truck Drivers

Since July 1st truck drivers have been following new federal rules that are meant to save lives.

It's all because in 2010 more than 3,675 people died in accidents involving large trucks. But some Texoma truckers said the new rules are not only causing them to lose money, but they could lead to even more accidents.

Whenever Cary Davis, the security officer for Albert Moving & Storage hops into a truck, he knows time is precious, especially if he's making a long distance delivery.

"Every minute that cuts into my day it just slows me down and prevents me from making my deliveries," said Davis.

Now he and all drivers across the U.S. are losing not just minutes, but hours off their work week. Drivers can no longer work more than 70 hours with at least 34 hours of downtime in between. Officials from the Department of Public Safety said it's all in efforts to combat the leading cause of large truck accidents.

"We will hopefully reduce both acute and chronic fatigue in the drivers and with that eliminate all these accidents that our nation is being plagued with," said Sgt.. Robert Wilson, DPS's Regional Commander.

Davis said what's affecting his business the most is the fact that before the regulations kicked in, anytime drivers didn't work for 34 hours they were able to start a new work week. But now they can only reset their hours once every seven days. On top of that, drivers are forced to stay away from their trucks from 1a.m. to 5a.m. on two consecutive nights.

The security officer said, "For everybody to get their restart now you're going to put even more trucks on the road in rush hour traffic in congested cities and stuff like that. In my opinion is probably going to result in more crashes."

Davis said having to cut back on hours and being forced to take breaks is also affecting the amount of money drivers are cashing in.

"We're losing 30 minutes a day on the 30 limit break requirement so that's a couple of two and a half hours a week that's cutting into their time," said Davis.

DPS officials said local companies have been doing a good job with monitoring their drivers to make sure they're following the new rules. Trucking companies could face fines of up to $11,000 and drivers could pay close to $3,000.

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6