New Jersey’s U.S. Senators are speaking out about big truck safety after the crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that killed one person and hospitalized actor/comedian Tracy Morgan.
Earlier this month the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment that would suspend some truck driver safety rules, including how long drivers can stay behind the wheel before resting. In the wake of the June 7 fatal crash that also critically injured Morgan, Sen. Cory Booker is pledging to overturn that amendment.
“Each year more trucks, more congestion, outdated oversight are all combining to cause terrible crashed to become more and more frequent,” Booker said. “The number of fatalities has risen by 16 percent since 2009 and the number of people injured in these crashes has risen by 40 percent.”
Daphne Izer of Parents Against Tired Truckers lost her 17-year-old son two decades ago in a crash similar to the Morgan incident. She says there are too many tired truckers on the highways.
“Safety must be first and foremost on the highways before the economic interest of the trucking industry,” Izer said. “No load of freight is worth a human life.”
The driver in the Morgan incident allegedly was awake for 24 hours before the crash.
Those who pushed the amendment say the tougher safety rules were having unintended consequences.