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New Truck Rules Are Coming [AUDIO]

A new federal plan calls for tougher regulations for truck drivers in New Jersey and across the nation, beginning in July.

Flickr User Rennett Stowe

The new rules stipulate truck drivers will have to pull over and park their rigs after eight straight hours of driving, and they will also be limited to 70 hours a week of driving, compared to the current limit of 82 hours.

“Why they’re coming back and making these additional changes doesn’t make any sense -it’s not based on science. By reducing all this time available for driving, it’s now going to cause some companies to get more drivers and put more people on, or not service as many people – we’re bracing for an impact,” says the Executive Director of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association Gail Toth.

She points out the new rules will mean drivers will be starting to move during morning rush hour – around 6 a.m., which will compromise safety.

“Everyone is always telling us to try to work off-hours,” says Toth, “and this pretty much puts us right in the middle of everyone trying to get to work. It is not a safe thing.”

She also stresses when you start reducing the ability to drive, the ability to move, then you reduce the amount of people you can serve.

“And that means you have to add people on, so now you’re in effect putting more trucks on the road, and that doesn’t sound like it’s increasing safety.”

John Lannen, the Executive Director of the Truck Safety Coalition, says safety advocates are also opposed to the new rules as well.

“We don’t think they go far enough in addressing truck driver fatigue.”

He points out a recent survey found “65 percent of drivers reported being drowsy while driving, and 48 percent had admitted to falling asleep while driving the year before, so driving needs to be limited and carefully monitored.”

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