The U.S. senate appropriation committee may be reconsidering reform efforts designed to reduce regulations on the trucking industry after a recent high profile crash on the New Jersey Turnpike involving a driver who claimed to have been without sleep for over 24 hours. The driver, employed by retail superstore Wal-Mart Stores Inc., crashed into a limousine which carried comedian Tracy Morgan and his colleague James McNair around 1 am, critically injuring Morgan and killing McNair. An investigation has commenced into whether or not the driver was in violation of federal regulations.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration roughly 90,000 trucking accidents occur each year many of which are the result of fatigued drivers. In early June the appropriation committee passed an amendment suspending current federal regulations which were designed specifically to reduce highway traffic accidents and fatalities caused by long-haul drivers. The amendment was a response to industry outcry and concern over the potentially negative impact of the regulations which took effect last July. Current legislation requires that drivers work no more than 14 hours per shift, only 11 of which are they permitted to operate a vehicle. It also placed a 70 hour cap on a driver’s workweek, requiring a “restart” period when drivers reach the maximum seventy hours over eight days or sixty hours over seven days. Drivers are required to take 34 hours off each week including a break between the hours of 1 am and 5 am on two consecutive days. The 34-hour “restart” requirement marks the beginning of a new workweek and was intended to make sure drivers got enough sleep before returning to the road.
At Tri-State Insurance Agency we understand the challenges and risk exposures those in the trucking industry face both on and off the road. Our Peekskill Trucking Insurance specialists have access to specific markets that serve the transportation industry allow us to put together an innovative program that is tailored to your niche needs. We offer a variety of coverage including New Jersey Workers Compensation, Professional Liability and business auto insurance to ensure that your drivers, vehicles and other business assets are fully protected in the event of any unforeseen circumstances. For more information about any of our offerings call us today at (888) 990-0526.