Wiser heads have prevailed in Washington on a lax trucking regulation the Bush administration pushed on behalf of the industry. The Obama administration has agreed to reconsider the rule, which safety advocates said could have led to greater driver fatigue and more accidents.
The rule would have allowed long-haul truckers to drive up to 11 hours straight, compared to the previous maximum of 10. A federal appeals court struck down the rule twice, saying the government did not explain its reasoning for the extra hour on the road. But each time the Bush administration reinstated it.
A coalition of highway-safety defenders and the Teamsters union sued to kill the rule. Teamsters President James Hoffa, who warned that longer hours behind the wheel are dangerous, promised to push for a rule that protects truckers "instead of the greed of the trucking industry."
Finally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration pledged to begin the process to revise the rule, with public hearings set for next month. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood declared that "we believe that starting over and developing a rule that can help save lives is the smart thing to do."
Protecting truckers and the public from unsafe driving conditions is wiser than bending to special interests.