Connecticut’s U.S. Senators hope to jack-knife a drive in Congress to relax rules on how long truckers can be on the road.
Currently, truck drivers can stay behind the wheel for a maximum of 11 hours in a 14 hour work day, and max out with 60 hours in a seven day stretch or 70 hours in an eight day stretch.
Unionized truck drivers stood with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D) to argue against dropping the requirement that a trucker, after reaching the 60 or 70 hour limit, must rest for two consecutive days from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
The trucking industry also wants the rule waived that a driver has to allow 168 hours, or one full week, to pass before restarting or resetting a new work week.
Instead the trucking industry feels that 34 consecutive hours of rest is enough for a restart.
“These big trucks, operated irresponsibly, are deadly weapons, and they are particularly deadly when there is an exhausted, tired driver behind the wheel,” Sen. Murphy said.
Since 2008 in Connecticut, Sen. Murphy said, large truck crashes have already killed 91 people, and tired truckers accounted for 13 percent of those fatalities.