- The trucking industry in the US has several new laws to protect drivers’ rights and ensure safety.
- The Denham Amendment preempts state laws mandating meal and rest breaks for truckers.
- The Moving Forward Act includes the expansion of the truck parking program and the creation of new rest areas, as well as the requirement for underride guards on trucks.
- The Drive-Safe Act would allow drivers under 21 to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce with training requirements.
- The INVEST In America Act requires automatic emergency braking systems on trucks and funding for new safety technologies.
As an independent trucker, it can be tough navigating the industry’s legal landscape. But don’t worry! There are a variety of new laws that have recently been put into place that are designed specifically to support truckers. These laws protect your rights, improve working conditions, and ensure you can operate safely and efficiently.
The Trucking Industry in The U.S. and Its Laws
The trucking industry has about three million registered trucks and truckers nationwide. An estimated 8.7 million people are employed in the trucking industry, making it one of the largest job providers in the United States. Many laws have been put into place to protect drivers’ interests and ensure safety for everyone on the road.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted regulations that cover certain things for truckers. Here are some of them:
The Denham Amendment
The Denham Amendment is a piece of legislation that was passed in early 2018. The amendment essentially preempts state laws mandating meal and rest breaks for truckers. This is a big win for truckers, as it allows them to operate more efficiently by eliminating the need to take breaks at set times. Truckers can stop for rest when it’s safe, rather than having to pull over at predetermined intervals.
The Moving Forward Act
The Moving Forward Act is a comprehensive infrastructure bill passed by the House of Representatives in July 2020. The bill includes a variety of provisions aimed at supporting truckers, including the expansion of the truck parking program and the creation of new rest areas. It also requires carriers to install underride guards on their trucks, which can significantly reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a rear-end collision.
The Drive-Safe Act
The Drive-Safe Act is a bill that was introduced in 2019 but has yet to be passed. The bill would allow drivers under 21 to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. This is a big deal for young truckers looking to enter the industry but have been prohibited from doing so due to their age. The bill also includes training requirements for new drivers, which could help improve road safety.
The INVEST In America Act
The INVEST In America Act is another comprehensive infrastructure bill the House of Representatives introduced in June 2020. The bill includes a provision requiring carriers to install automatic emergency braking systems on their trucks. This significant safety feature can help prevent accidents and save lives. The bill also includes funding for developing new technologies to improve trucking safety and efficiency.
The Safe Streets Act
The Safe Streets Act is a bill that was introduced in 2019. The bill includes a variety of provisions aimed at improving safety for all motorists, including truckers. One of the bill’s key provisions is requiring all new commercial vehicles to be equipped with automatic emergency braking systems. The bill also includes funding for developing new safety technologies, such as blind spot and lane departure warning systems.
Tips to Ensure That These Laws protect you
If you’re a trucker and you want to make sure you’re protected by the laws outlined above, here are some tips:
Know a Lawyer
Knowing a legal professional is one of the best ways to ensure these laws protect you as a trucker. An experienced truck driver rights lawyer can help brief you on these new laws. They can also help represent you in court in a legal dispute. Proactively consult them if you’re confused regarding your rights as a trucker.
It’s always important to stay informed about new laws or regulations affecting the trucking industry. The FMCSA regularly updates and revises its regulations, so watch for any changes that could affect your rights as a trucker.
Follow Company Policies
Finally, it’s essential to remain aware of and follow all company policies related to safety and compliance. Companies are required to abide by specific laws, and not following them can result in severe penalties. Make sure you understand the rules set by your employer so that you can ensure safe operation at all times.
By understanding these new laws and keeping up with developments in the industry, you can ensure that your trucker rights are protected. Taking advantage of the support provided by these laws can help you stay safe on the road and maximize your efficiency.