Truckers return to old road rules - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Truckers return to old road rules

June 19, 2004

Albany- Harold Hudson is following the driving rules that were changed last year, but that doesn't mean he has to like them.

"I can't sleep over four or five hours to start with, so ten hours don't do me any good," he said.

Lawmakers decided truckers could drive up to 11 hours instead of 10, but needed 10 hours of rest instead of eight. Just when drivers are starting to adjust, a federal court has thrown the rules out.

The government said the rules would make the roads safer, but safety groups disagreed and so did the court.

Drivers usually pull over in truck stops to get their rest. Under the new rules they had to stay there for 10 hours. But now that the court's thrown that out, they only have to stay for eight hours.

Many drivers say they never drive 10 or 11 straight hours anyway. They generally break up their trips.

Then they have to log the amount of hours they rest and drive in a book. If they're caught driving too long without enough sleep, they're fined anywhere from $500 to $11,000.

"There's a few outlaws out there, but most of the time, they'll sell you legal. I do," said longtime driver Tommy Day.

Hudson is just glad the old rules are back for now.

"I've done it for 22 years. Maybe I can get back to doing something right again."

So he can focus on what's important, delivering his load and getting home.

"I'm always happy to get home."

posted at 10:15 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com