Trucking sleep regulations

KIMT News 3 – A semi-truck accident over the weekend involving a sleep-deprived driver, is raising questions into driving regulations.

Actor, Tracy Morgan is reported to be more responsive since being struck by the semi-truck driven by 35 year-old, Kevin Roper.

Several others were also injured in the crash including one fatality, comedian James McNair also known as Jimmy Mack.

The Walmart truck driver was said to have been awake for more than 24 hours at the time of the crash.

Some truck drivers say while they understand the need to be on the road, it’s not worth the risk.

As an instructor with Northland CDL Training, Randy Grey helps students gain experience before they make it to the road.

Part of that instruction is how to handle sleepiness behind the wheel.

“We have an entire instructional unit on driver fatigue so that is presented to every driver that enters the market. Now of course we’re all adults and everybody gets to handle that in their own way,” said Grey.

When it comes to driving commercial trucks, Randy knows every minute truly counts.

“That of course leads to the temptation of driving more hours than you’re supposed to be driving and that’s why the Federal Motor Carrier’s Administration has issued hours of service regulations,” said Grey.

Regulations say full-time drivers can drive ten hours with a 30 minute break but they can be on the road for a total of 14 hours.

Those rules are in place to keep drivers sharp while on the roads and to limit driver fatigue.

Truck driver Charles Roberts knows however that some, push those limits.

“If those wheels aren’t turnin’, then we ain’t making any money,” said Roberts.

As a seasoned driver, Charles puts in 500 miles a day on average, but says he knows when he’s hit his limit.

“I try to go and put in 500 or 550 that I try to go and get each day but even if I don’t make that mileage at the end of my day, I’m done,” said Roberts.

It’s a limit that he says will not only keep him safe, but other drivers as well.

“The way I look at it, I do everything I can and what needs to be done to get a load there when it needs to be there. On the same token, there isn’t any load on there that’s worth my life nor anybody around me,” said Roberts.

Some truckers say they are hesitant about the idea of “big brother” always monitoring their movement, but most agree that it’s not only in the best interest of the cargo, but about the safety of the other drivers on the road as well.

Tracy Morgan has been listed as “more responsive” since the accident.

Meanwhile, the driver of the truck, Kevin Roper, is being charged with vehicular homicide and four counts of assault by auto.

He was released on bond over the weekend.

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