Senate Debates Stronger Trucker Fatigue Rules: Driver Safety

How JK Takes Precautions to Ensure Your Safety and the Safety of Our Drivers

Recent accidents involving tractor-trailers have brought fresh scrutiny over driver safety practices; this comes as the industry tries to alter the Department of Transportation’s current regulations on the allowable time a driver is allowed to be behind the wheel without rest.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, federal rules permit drivers to work up to 14 hours a day with a maximum of 11 of those hours behind the wheel.

New Jersey Senator, Cory Booker, has been leading the Senate debate regarding new regulations that make it mandatory for drivers to get more rest after long work weeks.

According to an article in The Record, the focal point of the new rule that took effect July 2013, makes it illegal for drivers who drive 60 hours over a seven day period or 70 hours over an eight day period to drive again until he or she takes 34 hours off, including two consecutive periods of rest between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

The new regulations also mandated truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.

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How JK Manages Driver Safety

While driver fatigue is one safety issue, things like speeding and overall driving competency also play a big role in ensuring the safety of both truck drivers and everyday commuters on the road.

According to Jeffery Parker, JK Moving Services’ Director of Safety and Compliance, JK uses on-board computers to electronically monitor and help manage its drivers and their schedules.

“A lot of companies are still using paper log books that the drivers have to fill out detailing their work and hours on the job. The companies then collect those books and verify them manually,” said Parker.

“When you have a large number of drivers and you have to monitor all of their compliance with paper logs, it can be a difficult task.”

The electronic system JK uses keeps track of not only of the drivers’ schedules and total driving time, but also monitors the speed at which the trucks are moving.

“If a driver is going above the speed limit, the system notifies us. You could be on any road and it will know the speed limit for that road and the exact speed the truck is traveling on it,” said Parker.

Along with electronic log systems, JK’s drivers complete annual safety driving courses.

“Our team understands the role that safety plays for both our own drivers and for everyone else on the road,” said Parker.

If a driver is too tired to drive due to lack of sleep, JK then arranges for someone else to manage the job.

“We have a motto; we always tell our drivers and crew that we want you to return home to your family the same way you came in this morning.”

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