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During the last week in April, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) addressed the need for national safety concerning bus driver standards. The statement followed a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) finding that driver fatigue, and the lack of federal safety standards protecting passengers on buses, contributed to the death and severity of the injuries sustained in the 2008 Utah bus rollover, which killed nine and injured 43.

AAJ also highlighted a March 2009 study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine which found that 3.9 million of the nation’s 14 million commercial vehicle drivers could be affected by sleep apnea. That’s a lot of drivers who are out on the roads with American consumers.

“The finding from the NTSB shows how the public is endangered when federal agencies drag their feet,” said AAJ Director of Regulatory Affairs Gerie Voss. “The Obama administration must make updating transportation safety standards a priority.” Pending safety regulations in the transportation industry include on-board electronic recorders to monitor a driver’s hours of operation and prevent fatigue, seat belts, and stronger roofs and windows; all recommendations NTSB has been calling on the agency to enact for nearly a decade.

Professional drivers should be looking to even the playing field and getting tired/overdriving trucks and buses off the road. It’s time the federal government helped them do that.

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