October 7, 2011
Truck driver fatigue is a serious highway safety problem that threatens all of us. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is trying to improve safety for everyone by proposing changes to the current rule on the number of driving and working hours of truck drivers (Hours of Service, or HOS, rule). However, special interests have gone to Congress and the White House and are trying to stop this commonsense and cost-effective public health and safety rule. The Office of Management and Budget in the White House will soon be reviewing the proposed new rule. We need your help to put safety first and make sure the White House hears from supporters of the proposed safety changes.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
Please send an email to the White House http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
This is a sample – please make changes to personalize your message. Note there is a 2,500 character limit which is approximately 400 words.
I am writing to request immediate adoption of safety improvements to the current truck driver Hours of Service (HOS) rule proposed by Secretary LaHood. Truck driver fatigue is a serious safety problem that threatens all of us every day, on every major road, in every state. Each year on average, 4,000 people are needlessly killed and 100,000 more are injured in truck crashes. The National Transportation Safety Board has warned of the dangers of truck driver fatigue because it is a major factor in these crashes.
The current Hours of Service (HOS) rule which was proposed by the Bush Administration benefits industry interests at the expense of public safety. During the current rule which allows 77 hours a week or more of driving and more working hours beyond that, 65% of drivers reported that they often or sometimes felt drowsy while driving and 48% said they had fallen asleep while driving in the previous year. These overly tired truckers are driving loads up to 80,000 lbs. or more at highway speeds alongside families in small passenger vehicles. This is a deadly combination, and I urge you to change it and protect innocent motorists as well as truck drivers.
Not only have two unanimous court decisions overturned the rule, but the rule also contradicts the DOT’s own research which shows that the crash risk of truck drivers increases dramatically after 8 consecutive driving hours. Trucking interests are falsely claiming the current rule has resulted in a reduction in truck crashes. Yet, no study or data directly links the recent decline in deaths with the rule, and truck crash deaths actually increased during 2004 and 2005, the first 2 years of the current rule.
The proposed rule will save lives, improve driver health, reduce costs to society and provide an estimated 40,000 jobs. I ask that you move forward and adopt the proposed rule, putting the safety of motorists first and foremost.
For More Information, contact the Truck Safety Coalition, 703-294-6404