It may not seem like changes to state and federal trucking regulations impacts other motorists, but they can and do. For example, the Hours of Service regulations that have been established solely address behaviors for people in the trucking industry, but they impact other drivers because they prevent fatigued truck driving, which keeps all motorists safer.
Because of how others can be affected by these laws, it can be important to stay updated when changes to them are proposed or passed. Recently, for example, the Truck Safety Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate and contains some interesting proposals that could change how truckers and their vehicles operated on roads in Tennessee and across the country.
To begin with, the proposed legislation is calling for certain features to be required in commercial vehicles. This includes devices to limit the speeds at which trucks can travel to prevent speeding as well as collision avoidance systems. These additions would make trucks safer and hopefully reduce the number of accidents caused by unsafe truck driving.
Another provision of the legislation assigns resources to investigate whether excessive commuting for truck drivers is an issue that must be resolved. According to reports, many truck drivers have to drive several hours to a base of operation. These hours before a trucker even begins or ends his or her shift are not taken into account by the Hours of Service regulations and could be contributing to continuing issues of driver fatigue.
The Truck Safety Act would also increase the minimum levels of insurance that carrier companies must have from $750,000 to $1.5 million.
These changes may not have a direct impact on motorists outside of the trucking industry, but if they are approved and put into place, they could make trucks and truck drivers safer on the roads they share with others. We will continue to follow any developments that may come up in the near in the future and discuss how they may affect all drivers.
Source: Truckinginfo.com, “Senate Bill Calls for Hourly Pay for Truck Drivers,” Deborah Lockridge, July 13, 2015