Statement on FMCSA Decision to Preempt CA Meal and Rest Laws

  • December 21, 2018
150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  December 21, 2018

Contact: Allison Kennedy,, 202-408-1711 or 360-281-7033

Statement of Peter Kurdock, General Counsel of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, On Decision of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to Preempt California Meal and Rest Law

With Fatal Truck Crashes Skyrocketing 41% since 2009, FMCSA Should Institute Solutions to Reduce the Scourge of Driver Fatigue Instead of
Wiping Out Essential Driver Protections

It is truly a dark day for safety when the federal agency tasked with ensuring the safe operations of motor carriers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), issues a reckless decision that will needlessly risk the safety of truck drivers and all those sharing the roads with them.  The FMCSA’s egregious choice to eviscerate critical driver rest breaks enshrined in state law appeases certain industry special interests at the expense of the entire motoring public.  Driver fatigue is a well-known safety problem within the trucking industry.  In fact, in FMCSA’s own studies, nearly half of drivers report they that have fallen asleep while driving.  In addition, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has repeatedly cited fatigue as a major contributor to truck crashes and included reducing fatigue related crashes on its 2017-18 Most Wanted List of safety changes.  Only ten years ago, FMCSA correctly rejected an application on this very issue.  Today’s decision not only defies the agency’s own precedent, but it also flies in the face of commonsense and will not withstand the most basic scrutiny.