An amendment calling for the removal of three current truck safety provisions was rejected by members of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations the first week of June 2019.
The anti-safety amendment would have removed the following safety provisions:
- Section 133: Allows individual states to regulate meal and rest break laws for truckers in their state without federal interference. Road Safe America, an advocacy organization, believes truckers need, and should have, state-allowed breaks in addition to any minimum federal level mandates.
- Section 134: Requires government safety data to be made public. This provision creates transparency of the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration (FMCSA).
- Section 135: Supports the federal rest break rule that requires a 30-minute rest for truckers after 8 hours of driving.
The FMCSA says that most drivers must follow the hours of service (HOS) regulations if they drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). According to the FMSCA, a CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and fits any of the following descriptions:
- Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
- Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
- Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
- Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
- Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
“HOS rules are designed to eliminate the type of drowsiness that can lead to crashes. Although many CMV drivers feel that they know when they are getting drowsy, various laboratory tests have shown that persons are not good at estimating their own drowsiness,” according to the FMCSA.
The FMCSA wants drivers and the public to be familiar with its rules. Therefore, the agency provides information on the following topics in "Hours of Service: How Familiar Are You?" webinar:
- Purpose of the hours of service rules and regulations
- Drivers' responsibilities
- Carriers' responsibilities
- Property carrier hours of service driving time limits
- Passenger carrier hours of service driving time limits
- Acceptable recording methods
- Important dates and deadlines for electronic login devices (ELDs)
- Limited exceptions to the hours of service rules and regulations
Florida Statute 320.01(26) says a CMV is a vehicle, not owned by the government, with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 26,001 pounds or more, or has three or more axles regardless of weight, or is used in combination (vehicle plus trailer) when the weight of such combination exceeds 26,001.
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department provides a quick reference chart for intrastate HOS rules (Florida Statute 316.302).
The Florida Department of Transportation reports that about 15 percent of all commercial and long-haul driving accidents are the result of fatigue, and the National Sleep Foundation says that commercial truck drivers are especially susceptible to drowsy driving.
“Should you or a loved one be injured in an accident, after seeking medical assistance, please contact our firm of experienced attorneys. We are available 24/7,” said Fort Myers Truck Accident Attorney Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Fort Myers Truck Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.