Small Business Applauds Collins for Relaxing Trucking Rule as Part of Budget Deal

Date: December 10, 2014

Small Business Applauds Collins for Relaxing Trucking Rule as Part of Budget Deal

Washington, DC (December 10, 2014) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today cheered US Senator Susan Collins for including in the recently unveiled federal budget deal a provision easing a rule that truckers say forces them to take two full days off before they can get back to making living.

“The current overnight scheduling rule encumbers small trucking companies and independent truckers despite that there’s no real evidence that it increases public safety,” said NFIB Manager of Regulatory Policy Dan Bosch.

Truck drivers are currently limited to 70 hours per week, at which point they are required to take off 34 hours before they can hit the road again. A Department of Transportation regulation also requires, however, that they must also take breaks between 1 am and 5 am on two consecutive days before they can drive. Collins’ measure would eliminate that provision.

“As long as truck drivers are getting 34 hours rest before they can go back out on the road the government shouldn’t be micromanaging their schedule,” said NFIB State Director David Clough. “The current regulation effectively prevents them from driving at night, when there’s less traffic, and that inhibits their business.

“It also forces more trucks on the roads when there are more commuters and travelers,” he continued. “That aggravates traffic congestion and creates its own safety hazards.”

Safety groups have blasted Collins for the effort, but according to Clough their criticism is misplaced.

“There are more trucks on the road when there are more drivers on the road because of this rule,” said Clough. “That doesn’t improve highway safety. No one argues that drivers need rest, but this rule can’t be justified on the basis of safety. Let’s allow small trucking companies and independent drivers to determine for themselves when to rest and when to do business.”

Related Content: Small Business News | Maine

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