Reprinted from Smirking Chimp
In a week, families all over the country will pack up their cars and make a trip to the beach, to a family picnic or just to get away from day-to-day life for the holiday weekend.
And if the trucking industry had its way, those families would be sharing the interstate with semi-truck drivers who are exhausted from working more than 80 hours a week.
If that sounds reckless and unbelievably unsafe for both the public and the drivers, that's because it is.
Nearly 4,000 people die in large truck crashes each year, and driver fatigue is a leading factor according to the Department of Transportation.
Take truck driver Dana Logan, who recently told reporters the heartwrenching story about how she personally witnessed another truck driver fall asleep and ram an SUV from behind.
The SUV was slammed underneath Logan's trailer, shearing off the top of the SUV and decapitating the two fathers and two children inside.
The truck driver who had fallen asleep and rammed the SUV managed to ask one last question before he died, simply "Did I hit something?"
More famously back in June of 2014, a Walmart truck driver had been awake for more than 28 hours when he slammed his truck into actor Tracy Morgan's limo van, killing one passenger and leaving Morgan in a coma for two weeks.
We all drive on the roads, so this is definitely a matter of public concern.
So when will the public comment period be on this proposal to let trucking companies push their drivers even beyond an 80-hour week?
When will the public get to weigh in on whether the truck drivers are allowed to work themselves to exhaustion and threaten public safety?
That's because these measures are being inserted into a must-pass spending measure that includes funding for transportation, funding for housing and military construction projects, funding for the Veterans Administration (VA), as well as new funding for Zika prevention in the United States.
Both the House and the Senate versions of this legislation would block the Obama administration from enforcing a regulation that requires workers to take two days in a row off per week, and caps truck drivers' hours at 70 a week.