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APWU Web News Articles

Subcontractors Seek Exemption that Threatens Safety on the Roads

APWU Urges Concerned Citizens to Comment

Web News Article #: 
171-2015

08/27/2015 - Imagine the danger posed by a sleep-deprived driver of an 18-wheel tractor-trailer – whether he’s on the highway or driving through your neighborhood.

Despite the hazard, private subcontractors that haul mail for the U.S. Postal Service are seeking an exemption from federal safety rules that prohibit commercial drivers from operating a truck after more than 14 hours on duty following a break of less than 10 hours. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking comments on the request, which must be submitted by Sept. 21.

“In their brazen pursuit of the almighty dollar, these contractors would risk the lives of their employees and tens of thousands of other motorists and pedestrians,” said Michael O. Foster, director of the Motor Vehicle Service Craft. “In addition, the exemption would make it easier and cheaper to outsource USPS work,” he said.

“Fortunately, we can do something about it,” Foster added. “I urge everyone who cares about safety on the road to submit a comment opposing the exemption.” Click here to make a comment before Sept. 21.

The group seeking the exemption, the National Star Route Mail Contractors Association (NSRMCA), represents approximately 17,000 small companies that transport mail for the Postal Service in trucks of various sizes. In 2005, the contractors association sought and won an exemption – with the help of the Postal Service – on a previous safety rule.

“Many Star Route companies are so small that their drivers are exempt from drug and alcohol tests that U.S. Postal Service drivers must take,” Foster said. “Clearly, this amplifies the danger.

“Save a life. Oppose the exemption,” he said.

Click here to see comments and here to post your own comments.