Truckin' Longer - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/09/05 - Lufkin

Truckin' Longer

by Jessica Cervantez

Commercial truck drivers are allowed to spend a total of 14 hours on the road each day, but that soon could be extended to 16 hours. Retailers such as Wal-mart are trying to lobby to Congress to get big rigs on the road longer.

Morning and nights, 24-hours a day, you'll find 18-wheelers driving to their intended destinations. Under law right now, truckers can only drive a total of 14 hours a day. Some truckers think a two hour increase would be a good idea.

Jeff Isenberg, a truck driver, said, "Brokers don't understand why they don't get their produce at a certain time, they don't understand the hours of service."

Other truckers said two extra hours is a bad idea. They said they are concerned about safety, not only for the truck drivers, but also for the other people on the road."

But, Isenberg said, "If you look most of the accidents involving big rigs and 4-wheelers...most of the time it's the 4-wheelers fault."

Isenberg carries heavy equipment so he is only allowed to drive during the daytime hours for safety reasons, but he wouldn't mind being on the road longer.

But, that means if drivers are on the road for sixteen hours, they're only off the road for a total of eight.

The proposal is expected to be discussed during the highway spending bill debate.

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