New regulations designed to cut down on truck driver fatigue could also wind up hitting you in the wallet.
Paul Mayfield knows a thing or two about trucking. He has 37-years of experience under his belt, and more than 4-million miles of road under his tires. He says the new driving rules are going to drive him broke because he’s not allowed to work as many hours. “I’ll never retire. I’ll drive till they take my license away from me.” he says.
The new rules limit drivers work week to 70-hours from 82; require a 34-hour break for every 70-hours worked; and mandate a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.
“At the end of the day we don’t want fatigued drivers.” says Major Ned Lewis of the Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement, “So we’re hoping with the little break they can get out, just walk around their truck for 30-minutes and get back in and be more refreshed for the rest of the day.”
But opponents say the reduced hours will lead to increased shipping costs that will be passed on to the consumer.
Backers of the new law say a few more dollars at the cash register is a small price to pay for safer highways.
For truckers like Mayfield who rely on those extra hours, the new regulations leave them with an uncertain future.
“That’s it. Just keep on going. Like them old t-shirts say, keep on trucking.”