Study Supports More Flexible Rest Rule for Truckers

THE American Trucking Associations wants to have the current federal hours of service regulation relaxed. ATA released a study it did with Circadian International, Inc. and said commercial truckers need more flexibility to choose sleep times and decide how long they sleep.

Calling this a "first-of-its-kind research project," ATA said the study looked at outcomes of the regulation's provision, including the sleeper-berth rule, which makes drivers divide sleeper-berth rest into two periods, one of which must be eight hours. Eleven sleep experts and 67 professional truckers found said letting drivers make decisions based on their own individual needs maximized sleep opportunities, increasing alertness and safety. "Motor carriers for decades have safely utilized the flexible sleeper-berth provisions to assure their drivers obtain needed rest," ATA President/CEO Bill Graves said. "Flexibility in the splitting of sleep periods mitigates fatigue and affords inherent protections that are critical for the safety of our drivers and the motoring public." ATA has more than 37,000 motor carrier members.

On March 20, the first in a series of webinars will take place on the topic of trucking industry experiences with on-board safety technologies. ATA's American Transportation Research Institute will participate in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's webinar on Lane Departure Warning Systems. Dean Newell, vice president of Safety for Maverick Transportation and Jerry Waddell, director of Safety for Cargo Transporters, are scheduled to discuss their fleets' use of LDWS and how the technology increases safety. Future webinars will review Rollover Stability Systems and Collision Warning Systems. For information, contact the conference coordinator at 202-385-2375.

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