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New Rules Mean Shorter Hours for Truck Drivers

CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS 2/ FOX 28)--Richard Hill has spent the last eight years moving hardware from state to state in a white semi.
"We do windows, bring windows out west to different places," said the truck driver.
Like most truckers, he likes the long hours because they lead to more pay, until recently.
"For the week they can drive 70 hours, and then they have to take 34 hours off," said IDOT Department of Motor Vehicle Enforcement Captain Kevin Steele.
It’s a big difference from the 82 hours drivers used to be able to fit in one work week.
"Moneywise, on the paycheck for the week, that could affect me anywhere from 60 to 80 dollars," Hill said.
Since July 1st, new federal rules have shortened how long drivers can be on the road without a break.
Now, they have to take a half-hour break every eight hours.
"One of the main contributing factors to truck crashes is driver fatigue,” Steele said. “So, this is just a way for the drivers to get a little more rest."
But, it’s a “time-out” some truckers say they don't need.
"Whether it's been eight straight hours or nine straight hours, I didn't feel like I was a safety hazard,” said truck driver Brian Pruitt. “I've never been in an accident."
"I don't see how that makes you safer, as a professional driver we ought to be the ones to realize whether we're tired or not," Hill said.
But with a fine of more than $100 for drivers who don't rest, some are changing how they look it.
"It gives me a little more chance to exercise a few minutes, then walk around and stretch my legs,” Hill said. “Maybe, I'll be a little healthier.”


 
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