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Regulations aim to reduce risk of tractor-trailer accidents in Fort Lauderdale

Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys fully agree with the proposed changes to the federal hours-of-service regulations and the installation of electronic on-board recorders. The moves should both help reduce the number of trucking accidents in Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

The two proposals go hand in hand in keeping drivers honest, with the goal of keeping fatigued truck drivers off our roadways.

Public listening sessions are taking place this week to hear questions and concerns regarding the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed changes to the hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for commercial truckers.

“A fatigued driver has no place behind the wheel of a large commercial truck,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We are committed to an hours-of-service rule that will help create an environment where commercial truck drivers are rested, alert and focused on safety while on the job.”

The HOS changes include:

-Limiting truckers to 10 or 11 hours of driving, followed by 10 consecutive hours of being off duty.

-The standard workday would be 14 hours but would allow 16 hours twice a week.

-Keep the 34 hour restart condition, but limit restarts to once per 7-day period and include two interruption-free off-duty periods from midnight to 6 a.m.

-Allow truckers to be ‘off duty’ while just waiting in their truck.

Along with the HOS changes the U.S. Department of Transportation’s FMCSA recently proposed requiring the installation of electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) for interstate commercial truck and bus companies.

“We cannot protect our roadways when commercial truck and bus companies exceed hours-of-service rules,” said LaHood. “This proposal would make our roads safer by ensuring that carriers traveling across state lines are using EOBRs to track the hours their drivers spend behind the wheel.”

Interstate carriers that currently use Records of Duty (RODS) log books would have to use EOBRs to document hours of service. Drivers have been known to keep fraudulent log books for use in case of an accident. The use of tamper proof EOBR’s would increase the accuracy of compliance tracking, thereby reducing the risk of trucking accidents.

If you have been injured in a Florida truck accident contact Fort Lauderdale Law Offices of Dean H. Freeman for a free consultation. Call 1-800-529-2368.

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