Laws passed to regulate the trucking industry should have one primary aim: the prevention of South Carolina trucking accidents. Unfortunately, at the federal level, some of the recent rules which were passed and new rules being considered could actually have the opposite effect. Instead of reducing the risk of truck accidents occurring, these new rules could actually make it more likely truck accidents will happen.

New Federal Rules Are Reducing Protections for Truck Drivers

When the federal transportation bill was proposed by federal lawmakers, it included language would was designed to pre-empt state laws in states where truckers were required to have more meal breaks and rest breaks than under federal law. There are currently 22 different states throughout the country where the local rules impose stricter requirements for meal and rest breaks than federal regulations do. The language in the transportation bill would have put an end to states providing this additional protection.

Safety advocates naturally objected and, in a compromise negotiation, the language was removed from the transportation bill so states would be able to continue imposing rules providing more break time for truckers. Now, however, Richmond Times Dispatch indicates the same language has found its way into an otherwise unrelated aviation bill.  Lawmakers are trying to quietly force the passage of the rule which would strip states of their autonomy to try to make their roads safer by giving more protection to truck drivers who want to stop for a rest and a meal.

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