MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The June 7 accident on the New Jersey Turnpike that killed one person and injured comedian Tracy Morgan and several others should have been a wake-up call for Congress, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Friday.
“There is no question that seriously fatigued truck drivers are a danger to themselves and others,” Blumenthal said during a news conference at the Middletown Rest Area on I-91.
Over a three-year period, the number of crashes on the roads has risen 40 percent and the number of fatalities in those crashes has risen 18 percent, Blumenthal said, adding that fatigued truck drivers are a danger to themselves and others.
The current regulations to combat trucker fatigue had reduced the 82-hour work week to 70 hours. Drivers also are required to rest 34 consecutive hours before starting a new work week. During this “restart” period, drivers must have at least two periods of consecutive rest from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. The rule also requires drivers to wait 168 hours before taking another 34-hour reset to avoid being able to fit in 82 hours of work instead of the required 70.
Blumenthal said that these regulations should not be rolled back, but instead should be preserved and even tightened.
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