Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) is trying to put our communities’ safety in jeopardy. We have to act, and we have to act NOW.
Every year, almost 4,000 people are killed and another 100,000 more are injured in truck crashes (tractor trailer crash, semi crash). According to a 2006 survey, nearly half – HALF! – of all truck drivers admitted that they fell asleep at least once in the previous year. Imagine that, truck drivers pulling several ton vehicles, falling asleep with our mothers, fathers, children, sisters and brothers on the road. Before you think this isn’t your problem, know that truck crashes cost our country $99 BILLION every single year.
It’s easy to blame the truck drivers for driver fatigue – the driver should have rested, should have pulled over etc. But there are more culpable people here. Just like you and I, truck drivers have a job to do and a boss to listen to. Oftentimes, the trucking companies force their drivers to drive so many miles in a day that sufficient rest isn’t possible. We wouldn’t want a tired surgeon operating on us. We don’t want tired truckers behind the wheel either.
Right now, trucking companies can require their drivers to work 70 hours a week. Sen. Collins is trying to sneak a provision into the upcoming government funding bill increasing that number. While this bill is being introduced under the guise of avoiding another partisan government shutdown, there is absolutely no reason that our roads should be made deadlier in the process. The provision Sen. Collins has prepared would reduce our roadway protections which require truck drivers to rest/sleep for a certain number of hours. If passed, trucking companies would be allowed to force their truck drivers to drive 82 hours a week. We cannot let this happen.
Please contact your representative to oppose unsafe trucking regulations here.