In response to Bruce Gray’s letter (Dec. 17), the truck crash that killed my son, his three friends and injured a fourth, was not “rare.” According to information contained in “Traffic Safety Facts,” in 2012, 3,921 people were killed in truck crashes and 104,000 were injured. Truck crashes happen frequently, and fatigue is a major factor.
Now, thanks to Sen. Susan Collins, the science-based, comprehensive rule reducing truck driver weekly work from over 80 to 70 hours has been revoked.
The last time the hours of service (HOS) rules (that Collins’ efforts restored) were in effect, 65 percent of truck drivers reported they often or sometimes felt drowsy while driving, and nearly half admitted they had fallen asleep while driving in the previous year (“Truck Driver Fatigue Management Survey,” May 2006).
Truck safety advocates work to save lives and protect families on roadways. Taxpayers pay for the roadways, and subsidize trucks’ roadway usage and the cost of crashes (more than $99 billion a year according to the same survey as above). With so much at stake, the public must demand that public roadways are safe.
Working more than 80 hours a week is an exhausting schedule. We all want hardworking truck drivers to do their jobs. We just want them to do it safely.
Daphne Izer, Lisbon
Founder, Parents Against Tired Truckers