Truck drivers look to lengthen hours to meet demand and argue safety isn't an issue
The number of hours that truck drivers work is being questioned in order to maintain optimal safety on the road while also benefiting the drivers.
Drivers stopped in Council Bluffs are in favor of lengthening their hours, they say that there are too many variables to consider on the road and 11 hours of driving time isn’t enough to meet the demand for fast deliveries.
Current regulations are meant to keep tired drivers off the roads, but according to driver Don Rohrer, they have plenty of time to rest up.
“When you're back up to a dock for two hours we can go back to our bed and nap and they usually knock on our door or we set an alarm,” said Rohrer.
According to current regulations, drivers can work for 14 hours, 11 hours can be on the road, and 30-minute breaks have to be taken after eight hours.
Drivers are pushing for 16 hours of work, with 14 hours on the road.
According to Rohrer, he is paid by the mile and needs extra hours to counter variables like traffic and loading times.
“Days like yesterday I went to an account, a small place, so I dropped a load off there, then half a load went to another business close by, so I was stuck for about five hours yesterday working on duty but not getting paid,” said Rohrer.
On the opposing end, according to a study conducted by the insurance institute for highway safety. Truckers who spend more than eight hours on the road are twice as likely to crash.
Rohrer argues that drivers are diligent about staying alert.