October 18, 2011
Truck driver fatigue is a serious highway safety problem that threatens all of us. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) (pronounced EYH-ott) is planning to offer an amendment this afternoon that would block implementation of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)’s rulemaking on truck driver Hours of Service (HOS). The DOT’s proposed changes to the current HOS rule are commonsense and cost-effective and would improve safety for everyone. We are being told that Senator Ayotte plans to offer the amendment on the Senate Floor during debate on HR 2112, the “Minibus” Appropriations bill which will include Transportation allocations.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
Please call Senator Ayote’s Legislative Director Adam Hechavarria at 202-224-3324 or email him at Adam_Hechavarria@ayotte.senate.gov .
Please also call your Senators’ offices and urge them to oppose any amendment to stop the HOS Rulemaking. www.senate.gov. Click in the top right corner to get your Senators’ numbers.
This is a sample – if possible please make a couple of quick changes to personalize your message.
You can save this email, then copy and paste the following information into an email, then add your personal edits and send to Adam Hechavarria.
I am writing to urge Senator Ayotte not to offer an amendment stopping the Department of Transportation’s current rulemaking on truck driver hours of service.
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.
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.
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 Senator Ayotte put the safety of motorists first and foremost.
For More Information, contact the Truck Safety Coalition, 703-294-6404